7 ways to fight your smartphone addiction

It’s time to put down the phone and rejoin the real world. Committing to a phone-free breakfast or simply leaving it in another room can help.

As a community manager, I hate to step away from my phone or other devices. Anything can go wrong in an instant.

But we have to let go of those fears.

I know I’m not the only one who’s tired of seeing people walking around on their phones, and I’m sure one (or more) of your friends has asked you to stop constantly checking yours.

I halted my phone obsession last year, and have a few tips so you can, too:

1. Turn off your personal notifications.

This is the first step. You can do it. You don’t need to see every Facebook like or new Twitter follow. It is not important, and you have to start to detox from notifications.

2. Only sign into your brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

At work I often choose to “use Facebook as” one of the accounts I manage so I don’t see the red notification symbol pop up. You can do the same thing with your phone. Only use the Facebook Page Manager app, and only have your brand Twitter accounts up. It will decrease your usage.

3. Wait to respond.

Everything doesn’t need an immediate response. You know, you can actually wait to respond to emails, tweets and messages. If something is really important, someone will call you. (And that never happens.) Don’t feel rushed to answer anything. Take your time to respond after hours.

4. Leave your phone and computer in another room.

You don’t need to live tweet everything you do. Leave your phone and laptop in another room for at least two hours a night. It will pay off. Your friends and/or significant other will appreciate it, too.

5. Don’t reach for your phone first thing in the morning.

Commit to be phone-free for the first 30 minutes of your day. Stretch, eat a healthy breakfast, walk your dog, have an actual conversation, etc. It’s better than obsessing over email!

6. Play the phone stack restaurant game.

When you’re on a date or with friends, make sure everyone stacks their phones in the middle of the table. The first one to reach for his phone pays for a round of drinks, an appetizer or the bill. This ensures you aren’t another group of people sitting around on your phones-you’ll actually talk to each other.

7. Remember to be present.

It’s wonderful to capture moments with your mobile camera, but you can wait to post the photos. It’s great to check in for a discount, but you don’t have to check in everywhere you go. Remember, this is your life, and it’s so much more rewarding to be present with the people you care about.

Commit to trying these tips, and your device addiction will dwindle. Once you stop constantly posting, checking, liking and retweeting, you will be able to spend more time doing things that actually matter. Your friends and family will immensely appreciate your efforts.

Lauren Gray currently works in digital public relations as a community manager of several travel, technology, nonprofit and education brands. A version of this article originally appeared on PRtini.

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