From checking bank balances to getting directions, it’s easy to become attached to smartphones since they are such versatile tools. But, if you’ve ever experienced the fear of being without your smartphone, then you could have an actual condition called nomophobia. According to Psychology Today, it affects 40% of the population, and there are a variety of ways that it can negatively impact your life. But whether you have an actual addiction or not, more and more studies are revealing just how dependent we are on our digital devices. In addition to affecting your ability to concentrate, being too attached to your smartphone can also lead to increased loneliness, depression, stress and anxiety.
Even though these devices are overly convenient to use, they can also become significant distractions when their use is left unchecked. So, a growing number of professionals are finding ways to better balance the time that they are connected to technology and engaging with people around them. Here are some suggestions that can help curb a smartphone dependence, while still enjoying all of the benefits they provide.
- Remember Etiquette – Remember, it’s still accepted in most social and professional settings that human interaction trumps smartphone use. Unless it’s an emergency, it’s disrespectful to make others around you listen to your ongoing notifications or personal phone conversations. If you need to take a call, or reply to an email, text, etc., then kindly excuse yourself from the conversation first to avoid disturbing others.
- Set Limits – Powering your phone off during certain times of the day can help you maintain limits. Some recommended downtimes include when you are driving, in a meeting, working out at the gym, and having dinner with friends or family. Some other places where you can cut back on your smartphone use are in the bedroom and bathroom. The blue light emitted from mobile devices has been scientifically proven to disrupt sleep patterns. Therefore, limiting your screen time after dusk is also beneficial. There are also numerous apps out there that can help you set time limits on your usage.
- Social Media Apps – Statuses on social media apps are constantly being updated and most people can easily get lured in to reading them as soon as they are posted. Unfortunately, many of these apps have evolved into popularity platforms where people compare their lives to others. These distractions can easily be avoided by turning off or muting the notifications and focusing on interacting with the actual people around you. You may also consider uninstalling them all together from your mobile device so that you have to log in to a computer to check in with your accounts.
What many people forget is that there are different rules concerning smartphone use at work versus at home and in public. As recruiters, we always remind our candidates that having unchecked smartphone dependence can even result in getting dismissed because it can cause them to be distracted at work and miss important deadlines. We also recommend always turning off your phone during an interview. Or better yet, leave it in the car during your interview so you won’t be tempted to look at it out of habit or nervousness.
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