How to Stop a Texting Addiction

Texting is a great way to quickly communicate. Unfortunately, the convenience of texting can lead to a texting addiction. If you feel anxious when you are not checking your phone and need to constantly message your friends, you might be addicted to texting. Making it more difficult to find ways to text, having better social interactions, and building better phone habits can help you beat your addiction to texting. Are we really phone junkies? Phones aren’t drugs. So why do we get addicted? Because addiction is not about pleasure.

If it was, you would literally be addicted to chocolate. Think about it: Thousands of people have surgery every day and are given very strong painkillers. But exceedingly few become addicted. Why?Because addiction is about soothing psychological distress. It’s using something to cope with a problem in life. Creating Better Phone Habits:

Put your phone away an hour before you go to sleep:

Staring at a screen right before you try to go to sleep is going to make it more difficult to fall asleep. An hour before you go to sleep, text anyone you are talking to that you are going to sleep. Then take your phone out of your room and put it somewhere where it is safe, but far away from you. Don’t try to sleep with it right next to your head because you will spend more time focused on who might be texting you than sleeping.If you normally use your phone as an alarm clock to wake you in the morning, it’s time to invest in an alarm clock instead.

Carry your phone in your bag or pocket:

When you take your phone with you places, don’t carry it in your hand. Put your phone somewhere where you can’t see it. This is especially important when you drive. Texting and driving is very dangerous to you and everyone you share the road with. Make sure your phone is hidden away when you drive so you are not tempted to look at it and text.

Delete the addictive apps off your phone. If that’s too radical, move them off the main screen or into a folder that’s out of sight.

Use “airplane mode” or “do not disturb” to silence incoming distractions.

Consider unplugging your router during nights or weekends.

While a smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with work, school, and relationships. When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, or apps—even when it has negative consequences in your life—it may be time to reassess your technology use.

Understand the difference between interacting in-person and online:

Human beings are social creatures. We’re not meant to be isolated or to rely on technology for human interaction. Socially interacting with another person face-to-face—making eye contact, responding to body language—can make you feel calm, safe, and understood, and quickly put the brakes on stress. Interacting through text, email or messaging bypasses these nonverbal cues so won’t have the same effect on your emotional well-being. Besides, online friends can’t hug you when a crisis hits, visit you when you’re sick, or celebrate a happy occasion with you.

Build your coping skills:

Perhaps tweeting, texting or blogging is your way of coping with stress or anger. Or maybe you have trouble relating to others and find it easier to communicate with people online. Building skills in these areas will help you weather the stresses and strains of daily life without relying on your smartphone.

Set goals for when you can use your smartphone:

For example, you might schedule use for certain times of day, or you could reward yourself with a certain amount of time on your phone once you’ve completed a homework assignment or finished a chore, for instance.

Turn off your phone at certain times of the day, such as when you’re driving, in a meeting, at the gym, having dinner, or playing with your kids. Don’t take your phone with you to the bathroom.

Limit checks:

If you compulsively check your phone every few minutes, wean yourself off by limiting your checks to once every 15 minutes. Then once every 30 minutes, then once an hour. If you need help, there are apps that can automatically limit when you’re able to access your phone.

Ask your parents to monitor your texting:

Recruit your parents to help you with your texting addiction. Explain to them that you are trying to text less and that you want them to monitor your usage. It might seem embarrassing or childish to ask your parents for help, but if they help you set ground rules and stick to them it will help you text less. You can also ask them to get mad or even punish you if they see you texting too much or if the number of texts you send each month does not go down.

Disable notifications:

Although you will probably still feel the need to check your phone obsessively, turn off all texting notifications on your phone. On many phones you can make it so your phone does not make any noise, so nothing pops up on your screen, and even so there is no way of knowing at all that you got a new message unless you go into the texting app.

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