How to Break the Smartphone Addiction

by Dotson Skaggs 09/08/2019

While you may not think of it that way, your brain can become addicted to personal electronics to such a degree that it impacts multiple areas of your life. Of course, the physical effects are substantial once you’re aware of them. But worse yet is the impact on your family.

What smartphones do to your brain

While it may not be the same as a narcotic addiction, heavy cell phone users often find themselves compelled to check their mail, group chats, and texts without regard for the people with whom they are sitting. Often, they’ll break a conversation or lose eye contact if they’ve been away from their phones for too long. This needless checking and rechecking their phones steams from the “fear of missing out” on something. Unfortunately for the people they’re with, it seems like “fear of missing out on something better.”

When it comes to family time, reading, watching movies, endlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, and playing games often take the place of meaningful interaction. And it’s not just the kids. Increasingly, parents are busy on their phones too, so when everyone is home after a day apart at work or school, they’re still not home together … they’re all in their own little worlds on their own devices.

Breaking the addiction

As with any addiction, recognizing the problem is half the battle. The emotional triggers that cause you to reach for your phone are vast and varied, but mostly you’ve developed a routine or habit that needs to be broken.

Turn on your screen-time statistics to see how many hours per day you spend on your device and the breakdown. Do you mostly play games? Spending time on social media? Read books? Read or watch the news? How about texting? Sometimes phone use is productive. Like where you’re going through work emails so that you can go into the office later in the morning, or when you use apps like Dropbox to check the progress of a project. Of course, we use our phones for banking and bill paying too, so once you know your usage stats, you can start to formulate a plan.

- Create mental speed bumps. That is, force yourself to go through a process before you can randomly use your phone. Make your login harder. Change your lock screen to ask you questions about your intentions. Put your phone is a case that takes the effort to use it for anything other than a phone call.

- Practice reducing your screen time for a week. Check your stats each day and make it a game for the next day to be less time on the clock.

- Go through all the apps on your phone and remove any that you don’t use.

- Then, give it another look. Remove the ones that take up large blocks of time without any meaningful return. For some that would be social media and for others, games.

Keep only those apps that you absolutely need. For instance, if you’re planning to buy a home, keep the real estate apps on your phone until you find the one to buy. Then, remove that one too.

About the Author
Author

Dotson Skaggs

Living in Denver continuously since 1960, Dotson has witnessed The Mile High City mature to become one of the nation’s top metropolitan statistical areas.  As one of Denver’s elite real estate salesman with 2,000+ homes sold and $600,000,000+ in sold volume, Dotson is annually one of the top 15 agents out of 5,000+ members with the Denver Metro Association of Realtors.

     Based on the principles of service, professionalism, and our Realtor Code of Ethics, Dotson sponsors and donates his time to numerous community service projects such as dumpster day, shredding day, a community garage sale weekend and a neighborhood young entrepreneur’s career fair.  Dotson also distributes American flags to neighborhoods for the Fourth of July, helps sponsor a neighborhood picnic, prepares and distributes HOA directories to various communities and sponsors a neighborhood annual photo session with the Easter Bunny.  Dotson also serves his fellow Realtors by volunteering on the Denver Metro Association of Realtor’s Professional Standard’s (Ethics) Committee.

     To better serve his clientele with the principles outlined above, Dotson left his own independent real estate company after 22 successful years and joined the nationally acclaimed Kentwood Real Estate in 2005.  Dotson has been blessed with the opportunity to serve countless homeowners and buyers with their individually unique and diverse needs.

     In addition to real estate, Dotson’s passions are spending time with his growing family, working out, playing golf, reading and observing the political scene.  He dreams to one day possess a golf game which is commensurate to his real estate career.  However, Dotson is also known to be overly optimistic when it comes to his golf game.

Dotson’s Favorite Quote is:  “Never Give Up.  Never Give up.  Never.  Never.  Never.”            Sir Winston Churchill (1941)

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A BRIEF SUMMARY OF DOTSON'S CREDENTIALS AND REAL ESTATE EXPERIENCE:

Over 30 Years of Real Estate Experience in Negotiating the Sale, Purchase and Leasing of Property (20 Years Broker/Owner) 

Over $600 Million in Sales Volume 

2,500+ Homes Sold in the Denver Metro Area

2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Wall Street Journal - Top 100 producing agents in Denver Metro Area

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Kentwood Champion’s Club Recognizing Over $17 - $31+ Million of Annual Sales

2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Denver Metro Association of Realtors Gold Roundtable of Excellence Award with $17 - $31" Million of Sales Volume 

Prestigious Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist Designation

Member of the Colorado Association of Realtors’ Ethics and Professional Standards Committee for the Past 25 Years 

Member of National Association of Realtors

Member of Colorado Association of Realtors

Member of Denver Metro Association of Realtors

Member of Denver Metro Area Multiple Listing Service

     In addition to possessing a true love for assisting homeowners and buyers with their real estate needs, Dotson is just as devoted to his family's needs. In his leisure time, Dotson enjoys activities such as snow skiing, golfing and camping in the beautiful Colorado mountains.  Dotson has also contributed to the Denver Metro area community by being an active supporter in many local groups and charities. He served in the Big Brother's organization for 10 years and has supported and contributed to the American Zang Foundation. This organization provides assistance for low-income and minority students in locating, applying for and obtaining college scholarships.

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OVER 30 YEARS OF TRUST AND EXPERIENCE

SERVING THE ENTIRE DENVER METRO AREA

  • MBA, BS, CRS, GRI, ABR, CDPE, LHMI, MCNE
  • Top 10 Brokers - Denver Board of Realtors
  • Top 15 Individual Sales - Denver Board of Realtors
  • Top 10 Transactions - Denver Board of Realtor
  • More than $500 Million Career Sales and 2,500 Transactions

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EDUCATION

  • Masters of Business Administration - Marketing
  • Bachelor of Science-Business/Land Management