Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 4th 2017 Contents too lazy to go to the closet every five minutes.
Alright, Adam has given us the tools we need
to ditch our compulsion. Let's round it all up ---
and learn why your phone addiction might be
a very good thing in the long run.
Here's how to stop checking your phone:
• “Don’t” say “Can’t”: You can always check
your phone. But decide to be the kind of person
• Proximity is destiny: Put your phone across
the room and laziness becomes a superpower.
• Use a “stopping rule”: Leaving the house
with your phone at five per cent battery is ex-
treme... but it'll work.
• You don’t break habits. You replace them:
Good apps up front. Evil apps must be down-
• Dr Jekyll, prepare for Mr Hyde: Give your
phone to a friend before you drink so the were-
wolf can’t drunk-text exes.
Addictions start when there's a problem in
your life you're struggling to cope with, right?
So checking your phone way too much can be
the canary in your coal mine. When you have
a full life, when you have good ways to soothe
your worries like good relationships with people
you love, you're less likely to develop behavioral
Here’s Adam: “Addiction is really about
soothing a psychological ill and that's true no
matter what the addiction is. People who have a
strong social support network, who have a very
full life, tend not to develop addiction.”
So the long term solution is not about the
phone. It's about getting closer to that special
someone and spending more time with them.
And letting that bond soothe the worries you're
running to your phone for.
So if you’re reading this on your phone, text
or email that person. Let them know you care.
Set a time to see them.
And then put the phone away.
A28 body & soul
guardian.co.tt Friday, August 4, 2017
Ways to stop your phone addiction
Instead of improving our lives, technology is increasingly
getting in the way of enjoying our lives. And the biggest
source of trouble is that device that's with you wherever
you go. Today we conclude with advice from New York
University professor of marketing Adam Alter, the author
of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the
Business of Keeping Us Hooked.
Use A "Stopping Rule"
Ever said you’re going to “just check your phone real
quick” — and then an hour goes by? (No, you did not dis-
cover time travel.)
You check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram…
And by the time you've done all that, it's time to check
email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram again. You may
call this your “happy place.” Researchers call it a “ludic
loop.” It’s what slot machines are designed to produce.
Here’s Adam: “The ‘ludic loop’ is this idea that when
you’re engaged in an addictive experience, like playing
slot machines, you get into this lulled state of tranquility
where you just keep doing the thing over and over again.
It just becomes the comfortable state for you. You don’t
stop until you’re shaken out of that state by something.”
So something happens and you're shaken out of your
Kubla Khan dream state. That’s when you go, “It’s been an
hour?!?!” So what you want to do is make sure you have
that interruption planned ahead of time so you don't go
down the rabbit hole and spend three whole hours hanging
with the rabbits.
That’s your “stopping rule.”Again,frameit with“I don’t.”
Here’s Adam: “It’s a rule that says at this point it’s time
for me to stop. It breaks the reverie and makes you think of
something else; it gets you outside of the space you've been
in. The best thing to do is to use a declarative statement
like, “I don’t watch more than two episodes of a show in
a row, that’s just not who I am.’”
Your phone has email,texting, Facebook and Instagram.
You know what else it has? A countdown timer. Maybe that
should be the first step in your next ludic loop.
So a “stopping rule” can prevent endless checking. But
how do you break this habit for good? You don’t.
You Don't Break Habits. You Replace Them
Proximity is destiny, right? When you sit on the couch,
make sure the phone is far away and a book is within reach.
So now you're not just gritting your teeth trying to not
check your phone. You’re substituting a good habit for
the bad one. When you want to check your phone, you
grab a book instead.
Here’s Adam: “What you want to do is you want to
find a behavior that is a stand-in for the behavior that
you don’t want to be doing. You replace the bad thing
that you shouldn't be doing with something good that
you should be doing.”
I know, you’re not always at home with a book. Doesn’t
matter. Every time I'm done checking Instagram I delete
it. I have to download it to check it again.
But the Kindle app is always front and center on my
screen. So when I lift my phone without thinking, checking
Instagram is a pain while reading books is easy. Guess who
reads a lot more books? Now checking my phone becomes
a good thing.
So maybe you incorporate a bunch of these tips and
you're feeling good. Awesome. But it's easy to backslide.
You probably know the times when you’re most likely to
“relapse” and grab your phone.
Here's what you need to do.
Dr Jekyll, Prepare For Mr Hyde
You’ve seen some version of this movie: the main char-
acter knows he's going to turn into a werewolf after nightfall
so he barricades the door and chains himself in the base-
ment. This way, when he transforms into the monster, it
won’t be able to harm anyone. (Yes, you’re the hero and
the monster in this story.)
By making smart decisions in anticipation of a prob-
lem, you make sure that future-you doesn't do anything
stupid like addictively checking your phone (or mauling
Here’s Adam: “It’s very, very hard to do the right thing
today. What you want to do is to basically ensure that you
push that person, that future self, to do the right thing.”
Going over to a friend's house for dinner and know you're
going to be tempted to rudely check yourphone at the table?
Leave your phone in your coat knowing future-you will be
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