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6 Ways to Overcome Smartphone Addiction

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We are living in an increasingly mobile-connected age. From a tool whose greatest utility was once tied around making calls and sending short messages, mobile phones have become indispensable gadgets that play multi-faceted roles including computing, banking, online shopping, virtual assistant, fitness coach, personal physician, news source, compass and virtually our window on the increasingly fast-paced world.

According to the Research and Development Unit of Yudala, Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce outfit, the growing utility is admittedly related to the rise and penetration of the smartphone: pocket-sized mobile devices, some of which have the capabilities to out-perform even some PC laptops.

The foregoing has seen a growing dependence on smartphones for a variety of tasks. Indeed, a significant majority of users polled in a recent survey revealed that their first action on waking up was to reach for their smartphone.

Another research study on smartphone use found that over 90 per cent of respondents admitted to being phone junkies, claiming a sense of loss/disorientation or a feeling of being cut off from the world when without their smartphones.

Usage patterns indicate a growing addiction to smartphone among various classes and demographics of consumers.

Interestingly, this is not only limited to millennials as research indicates that many in the older generation display similar patterns. The reality of smartphone addiction is now a major concern, especially in view of its debilitating effects on work, health and human relationships.

If you are caught in the web of smartphone addiction, the following tips from Yudala will help you break the habit:

Turn off instant notifications
You are in the middle of a crushing schedule at work, with deadlines looming. Suddenly, your phone buzzes! Immediately, your attention switches to the device to see who has hit you up on WhatsApp, commented on your latest Facebook post, retweeted that tweet or liked your picture on Instagram. Instant notification is one of the features of the smartphone that has contributed to getting a lot of people hooked on their devices.
Good news is that, you can break that cycle by tweaking your settings to turn off push notifications for the various apps on your smartphone, especially the distracting ones from social media. While this may make you a bit late to social media activity, the overall benefits are immense as you will gradually regain control from the tendency to check your device each time it buzzes. For other apps such as emails, you can choose to manually check once every hour or even turn on the notifications when out of the office so you don’t miss out on important correspondence.

Use your smartphone less (with some help from apps)
This is actually possible. By setting particular times in the day when you can use your device and sticking to these religiously, you can gradually begin to ease the heavy usage of the smartphone which often results in dependence and addiction.
It is common to see individuals in a social gathering actually devoting more time to their smartphones, thereby defeating the aim of the meet-up.
As a rule, the smartphone must be kept far away from you during meetings, social gatherings or when having your meals. Interestingly, there are a number of apps that can help limit your smartphone use. Flipd, Moment and BreakFree are three very good examples. These can be installed and set up to gauge and help you control your smartphone use.

Uninstall unnecessary apps
If you fall into the category of app-happy smartphone users, you stand a better chance of kicking that smartphone addiction by uninstalling the unnecessary apps on your device.
Rather than being app-happy (always in a hurry to download any new app you come across), the right mindset to smartphone use is to be app-smart.
This way, you weigh the benefits and utility of each app and even check out the reviews before you download and install them on your device.
Take the time to go through the tons of apps on your smartphone and decide which ones are serving duplicated roles or those that are actually enslaving you to the device.
An app that notifies you of new comments on social media, for instance, may be one of those to let go of. By reducing the number of apps, you are taking a strong step to overcome the addiction to your smartphone.
Not only that, interruptions are reduced, fewer notifications distract you and you also free up the storage space on your device for more constructive use.

Turn off your device an hour before going to bed
For most people, this is a seemingly impossible task. The sad reality is that many smartphone addicts fall into the class of those who can be found using their smartphone until sleep comes, often far beyond the normal hours.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that there is a strong correlation between this particular improper use of the smartphone and a host of sleeping orders including, but not limited to, snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep deprivation and restless legs syndrome.
 In addition, the eyes come under excessive strain when you peer at the harsh glare of a smartphone screen for hours in a darkened room.
It is advisable to switch off the phone at least an hour before going to sleep. In addition to helping you sleep better, the extra hour before bed can be put to better use through meditation, reflecting on the day’s activity, writing down your accomplishments for the day, reading a book (paper copy), communicating with your partner/spending time with your family, which is a very important part of bonding.

Keep the phone away
A common observation among smartphone addicts is their tendency to always keep their devices within reach.
One of the ways of beating this particular habit is to put some distance, physical or virtual, between you and your smartphone. When at work, you can have the device locked up in a drawer with set times for checking it.
The same practice can apply at home, especially when spending time with family or friends. Complicated or multiple passwords or screen locks could also come in handy in preventing you from constant use of the device.
Reviewing your smartphone use patterns can also be a good way of achieving this.  Keeping the phone locked up in another room, for instance, can help you break the habit of immediately reaching for it upon waking up in the morning.
Same goes for the ability to hold back from posting a picture on social media immediately it is taken. Control and self-discipline is key.

Switch to a feature phone for a while
To break your smartphone addiction, you may need to take a radical step by switching to a feature phone for a while.
While the prospects seem unbearable, you may discover that the decision could eventually help you regain your life, enrich your relationships and may not be such an uncomfortable experience after all. 
For a start, you can use a feature phone for a month before switching back to a smartphone once certain you are in better control of the addiction. The experience may turn out to be a life-changing one…

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Telecom

NCC, NSCDC Ink Agreement on Telecom Infrastructure Protection

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Nigeria Communication Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical Telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC signed on behalf of the commission, while Abdulahi Gana, commandant-general of NSCDC signed for his organisation.

 

According to Danbatta, the commission is leveraging on the reach of NSCDC to protect telecom infrastructure.

 

He said that the infrastructure were being damaged and at times it could be unintended due to road construction.

 

The executive vice chairman said that the signing of the MoU had further lend credence to NCC’s commitment to secure the lives of Nigerians wherever they live, as well as protecting telecom infrastructure from vandalism across the country.

 

“We are concerned about this infrastructure and, therefore, we pray that through this partnership with NSCDC they will be protected.

 

“ These centres have been put in place to bring relief to Nigerians in distress.  They are provided to offer emergency services between the people in distress and the emergency agencies.

 

On pre-registered SIM Cards,  Danbatta said  that  NCC  would not allow unscrupulous few among the citizens to use preregistered SIM cards to undermine the security of the country.

 

“We must be seen to be doing everything within our mandate to end the use of unregistered SIM cards and, I want to warn those engaging in it to withdraw or the law will catch up with them.

 

“We will do all we can to make sure they are not in circulation. We have taken some measures, in addition to electronic forms to ensure we give a good example of those who willfully use the preregistered SIM cards to  commit fraud.’’

 

He also appreciated the assistance of the Corps to the protection of the centres which served as inter-face with the people.

 

Earlier, the NSCDC commandant-general,  Abdulahi  said that it was the corps mandate to protect critical national infrastructure, adding that they were ready to provide the equipment, and fire arms to protect the national infrastructure.

 

Gana said that the defence corps has offices not only in the 36 states but in the 774 Local Governments.

 

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Government should provide subsidy for LTE deployment in hinterlands- Adeyeye

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By peter oluka

Following the recent deployment of Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) network services in mainly in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there are growing concerns on the inability of telcos and tier two service providers to replicate same feat in the hinterlands.

According to industry expert, Smile Communications with 800 MHz band spectrum operating a 4G LTE licence for nationwide coverage, it has the best spectrum to reach the rural areas.

But the odds against service providers are numerous.

In a recent interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr. OlusolaTeniola, the president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), suggested that reforms are needed in the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

Nodding in agreement Mr. Aderemi Adeyeye, president, Enext Wireless Inc., traced the inability of operators to move to the hinterlands to lack of motivation or incentives from the government.

Although, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has tried to support the operators to meet the needs of the underserved areas, experts are of the view there are still economic bottlenecks facing the operators.

Adeyeye said in an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, “In my view, a company like Smile Communications, by the nature of its ownership structure, shouldn’t be expected to have a national focus at the present. Yes, they want to deploy services and make money in the process; I mean there is a very little money for them from the rural areas, so they focus on the cosmopolitan areas where they could make money.

“We started our work when only Smile had LTE for deployment in Nigeria. You can see the quality of their network going down because the customer base has increased, but they are not investing in improving the quality. At the early stage Smile stood out in terms of Quality of Service (QoS). In Victoria Island, for instance, it stood out. Now Glo, MTN and other service providers are focused on LTE in VI and you can see Smile’s quality nose-diving.

“When you have limited spectrum and want to attract a lot of customers, you either have to improve on the engineering so that the spectrum could accommodate more customers or you have additional spectrum you could use to service a segment of the customer base.”

“I think currently, they are focused on getting the most out of their current investment because they seem not to be improving on the engineering of the 10 MHz. We could see it from our data. The way Smile could go to the rural areas is if government mandated them, which might not be advisable.

“Also, they could be given subsidy to achieve that purpose. We also have Bitflux which has a bigger spectrum with 30 MHz bandwidth and its license is also nationwide, even though the frequency is high at 2.3 GHz.

But, to Teniola, Nigeria cannot afford to miss the new Industry 4.0 paradigm which dwells, solely, on digitization.

“We needia reform of the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

“The funding of all this is a steeple chase hurdle to the realization of this new future and it requires continuous change in the way regulation and policies are formulated.

“Right now, we are undergoing consolidation in the market what we seek are for the Government to react quickly to these changes and adapt as the technology adapts to the new Industry 4.0. paradigm”, he said.

 

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NCC, NSCDC Signs MOU on Critical Telecommunication Infrastructure Protection

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Left to Right: Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) during the sinning of MOU Yesterday.

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, in line with the Board’s commitment towards achieving measurable and remarkable improvement in the quality of telecommunications services in Nigeria, received further concrete expression when the CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta and his counterpart at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the head office of the NSCDC yesterday.

The signing of the MOU is the climax of series of meetings, visitations and several discussions between the two organizations that will see greater security and protection provided for telecommunication facilities by the NSCDC’s department of Critical National Infrastructure Protection.

Vandalism and theft of telecom infrastructure and facilities have been central recurring challenges to the attainment of the parameters defining the applicable quality of service standards for specific services in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

This year, as part of the efforts of the Commission to ultimately halt the criminalities associated with telecommunication service provision, NCC has organised 6 Zonal Sensitization Workshops for Agencies in the security sector to deepen the understanding of each agency’s role in curbing the crimes undermining the quality of service in the telecom sector.

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