Tips & Tricks

We’ve spent the past two years testing out a variety of small steps anyone can take to start detaching from his or her smartphone. Here’s what’s worked:

  1. If you’re trying to reduce social media usage, try changing your phone display settings to grayscale. This will make your screen look far less enticing.

  2. Buy an alarm clock! It’s a simple way to reduce using your phone in the mornings and evenings and limit your eyes’ exposure to blue light.

  3. Use Apple’s Screen Time or Android’s Digital Wellbeing features if they’re available on your phone. Big tech companies now have built-in features to help you track and limit your usage. See page 3 of our digital guide at left.

Recommended Reading

Here are three good choices if you’re looking for in-depth research on the effects of smartphone overuse.

What began as a podcast experiment resulted in a fascinating book about detaching from technology. Manoush Zomorodi provides very tactical advice on how to take control of our time.

For those more interested in the science behind our digital addiction, Adam Alter provides a well-researched and thorough examination of how our devices affect our brains.

A good choice for parents. Dr. Twenge recommends no more than 2 hours of technology per day for teenagers. Any more than that and they report feeling less happy.