Easy iPhone Hacks for Breaking Your Phone Addiction
Over the past year I’ve developed a bad habit of waking up, rolling over, grabbing my phone, and immediately doomscrolling my way into the new day. I’m not exaggerating; it’s the very first thing I do. Before the bathroom, even.
Inevitably it alters the rest of my day, causing a little peach pit of anxiety to form in the middle of my chest that I end up taking with me into everything else I do. So, in an effort to mindfully chip away at my phone addiction, I’ve been taking advantage of some of the features Apple includes with the iPhone to help with this exact problem. (Which of course is a little like if RJ Reynolds included nicotine patches with every pack of Camels, but I digress.)
Here are a couple ways you can use your iPhone to combat your iPhone addiction: In Settings > Screen Time, you’ll find a couple great features for curbing your phone addiction: App Limits and Downtime. (For you Android users, here are some screen time-limiting tools for you too.)
App Limits does exactly what it says: It lets you select certain apps or categories of apps and set your own limits on them. If I’m playing too much Candy Crush, for instance, I can set it so that I’m only allowed 30 minutes of Candy Crush a day.
Downtime is basically App Limits in reverse. It disables apps on your phone for a certain, scheduled period of time. The nice thing about Downtime is that you can decide which apps are never blocked. For instance, text messages and phone calls can still get through while Downtime is scheduled.
What’s been working for me is to set my Downtime so that only texts, phone calls, podcasts, and my run-tracking app are allowed during morning hours that I would normally spend swiping through the nightmare news of the day. Now, instead, I get up, maybe find a podcast that I want to listen to, and go for a morning run. It’s been amazing. I have more energy and a lot more patience for the things that come up during the day.
Which isn’t to say that my doomscrolling addiction is all fixed. I’ve got a long way to go. I still expect marauding hordes of white nationalist cannibal zombies to begin rampaging at any second, but at least, if they do, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of exercise first!