Are you in control of your phone or is he in control of you? Sometimes it can be hard to tell; Sometimes you use your phone to communicate with your loved ones or talk about your favorite show, and other times you find yourself stuck browsing videos on TikTok, or busy answering email notifications and unable to focus on anything else.
And in a report published by newspaper The British “Guardian”, author Becca Cady reviews a list of the most important ways you can control your smartphone and limit screen time.
The writer stated that many people are making an effort to resist their addiction to smartphones and stay away from them, and a survey – published by the “Global Web Index” research company in 2021 – found that people of all age groups reduce the time they spend on social media platforms, especially the younger ones.
25% of respondents from Generation Z (born in the mid-1990s to the end of the 2000s) and 23% of millennials said that they believe that social media applications do not help them manage their mental health. As recent studies indicate, the quality of time you spend on technology depends on how you use it.
Comparing your life to others will not be as beneficial to your happiness as you do on Facebook, as opposed to using Twitter as an activity for social support.
Instead of setting unsustainable goals or trying to “digital detox”, you can make some changes in app settings to reduce screen time.
1. Unfollowing people and topics on Twitter
You can improve your Twitter experience by unfollowing any account or topic you’d prefer not to see, such as nutritional tips, Black Friday deals, or movie deals.
You can activate and deactivate this feature whenever you want. All you have to do is click on the three dots in the profile and press the “mute” button, and then you will not see their tweets.
And you can do the same with words, phrases, movie titles or anything else, by going to “Settings” then “Privacy and Safety” and then clicking on the “Mute and Block” feature, after that press the “+” sign and add what you want.
2. Disable read receipts on WhatsApp
Sending someone a message and the recipient reading it without a response is a great source of stress for many, and the same goes for receiving messages and feeling like you have to stop everything you’re doing and respond quickly.
Disabling read receipts can reduce this stress, just go to Settings, tap Account, choose Privacy, and turn Read Receipts off.
3. Neutralize the latest news on Facebook
If you can’t stop browsing Facebook, the best thing you can do is delete the app from your phone and just browse it on your computer.
As such, you can reduce the massive influx of spam and inappropriate political news with a “browser extension” like the Stop News Broadcast extension for Google Chrome, which hides your news feed and displays inspirational quotes instead.
4. Hide the number of likes on Instagram
You may not be concerned with the number of “likes” your Instagram posts get, but that could be a concern for someone else. In order to get rid of this inconvenience, simply remove the number of likes by pressing the three dots in the upper right corner of the post and clicking on “Hide number of likes”.
5. Remove connected YouTube videos
Uninstall the YouTube app from your phone, and watch it on your computer. And you can adopt “Add Browser” to give you more control over the YouTube app. For example, after “YouTube Updates” and adding it to the “Google Chrome” browser, it has a set of features to improve the user experience, and the best feature is to hide the “Connected Videos” that appear on the side.
6. Limit the time you spend browsing Tik Tok
You can control when to watch videos on Tik Tok by setting a time slot. All you have to do is go into Settings, tap Digital Wellbeing, then Manage Screen Time, to set a time period of 40, 60, 90 or 120 minutes per day. When this specified period ends, you will need to enter a passcode to continue using TikTok.
7. Control notifications
Notifications are enabled automatically in most apps, and if you don’t want to see them all you can select the type of notifications you want to see. Interestingly, a study published in 2021 found that 89% of phone disruptions are caused by the need to check, not notifications, but controlling notifications can help you deal with the habit of checking the phone.
8. Check emails twice a day
The author recommends that you check emails only once or twice a day. Tim Ferriss (author of Work 4 Hours a Week) provided this productivity tip a long time ago.
All you have to do is turn off email notifications and set an alarm to remind you to check it out. You can also schedule emails, or create an automatic reply that explains to senders how your email works so they don’t expect an immediate response.
9. Unfollowing annoying people on LinkedIn
A useful LinkedIn feature allows you to unfollow someone so you don’t see their updates. The unfollow feature is better than unfriending, which is a good option in dealing with colleagues who you don’t want to offend, because they won’t know you’ve unfollowed them.
10. Make yourself unavailable on Messenger
You can get rid of the green dot next to your name in Messenger, which shows everyone that you’re online. All you have to do is open the Messenger app, tap on your account, tap on ‘Active Status’ and then turn off this option.