10 ‘Nudges’ to help you break up with your phone addiction (listed Below)
A recent study has revealed the nations with the highest rates of smartphone addiction – and surprisingly, the UK and U.S. is not even in the top 10.
Researchers at McGill University, Canada used data on smartphone use between 2014 and 2020 from nearly 34,000 participants in 24 countries around the world.
Amazingly, the UK only ranked 16th out of 24 nations, while the US was even further behind, ranked 18th.
1. China (36.18)
2. Saudi Arabia (35.73)
3. Malaysia (35.43)
4. Brazil (32)
5. South Korea (31.62)
6. Iran (31.52)
7. Canada (31.11)
8. Turkey (30.92)
9. Egypt (29.54)
10. Nepal (29.41)
11. Italy (28.82)
12. Australia (28.61)
13. Israel (28.29)
14. Serbia (28.16)
15. Japan (27.71)
16. United Kingdom (27.69)
17. India (27.2)
18. United States (26.68)
19. Romania (25.52)
20. Nigeria (24.73)
21. Belgium (24.24)
22. Switzerland (23.45)
23. France (20.29)
24. Germany (18.44)
Researchers scoured previous studies to compile a list of 10 simple strategies for cutting smartphone use.
The study authors warn that ‘problematic smartphone use’ – when compulsive patterns of smartphone use impair daily functioning – has been increasing across the world for the past decade.
‘Combining different behavioural strategies can form a feasible and efficacious intervention to reduce smartphone use,’ they say in their paper, published in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.
All 10 simple strategies for cutting smartphone use have shown to improve quality of life by reducing things like stress, depression and loneliness and improving sleep quality, prior studies show.
1. Reduce notifications: Disable non-essential notifications (sounds, banners, and vibrations).
2. Set time limits: Enable screen time tracking and set limits for particular apps.
3. Keep your phone away while sleeping: Keep your phone on silent (with vibrate off) and out of reach when going to bed.
4. Set your screen to greyscale: Greyscale can be switched on for Android devices and iPhones. It makes the screen appear black and white, which makes smartphones ‘less gratifying’, a prior study found.
5. Hide social media apps: Hide social media and email apps, such as TikTok, Instagram and Gmail) in a folder off of the home screen (or even delete them).
6. Make your phone less accessible: Keep your phone on silent (vibrate off), face down, out of sight, and out of reach when not in use throughout the day.
7. Make your phone harder to unlock: Disable Touch ID or Face ID (the fingerprint/face scanner to unlock your phone) and use a password instead.
8. Turn down brightness: Change your display settings to reduce your phone’s brightness and change the colour warmth to filter out blue light.
9. Move phone tasks to computers: If you can do the task on a computer, try to keep it on the computer.
10. Leave your phone at home when you can: Leave your phone at home when you do not need it (e.g., when getting groceries or going to the gym).