Dear 100 Hour Board,
I believe I’ve become addicted to my smartphone and I’ve lost the ability to focus. It’s negatively affecting my academic performance. How I can I reverse that startling trend and get back to normal?
A few tips that have helped me (though I'm also still working on this):
1) Go through your social media and unfriend/unfollow anyone that you don't need. Follow your family and close friends... and think long and hard about anyone else. Turns out when you follow fewer people, there is less of a need to refresh pages and check if anything has changed because... news flash, it hasn't.
2) Delete any apps that are just taking up space. Get rid of games, because you don't actually need them, and consider what other apps you probably could actually live without. I only have Facebook (for ward group updates and close family), Pinterest, and Instagram (which tbh I should probably delete).
3) Try to notice exactly how much time you're wasting, and write down ways you could utilize that time better. When you realize what you could be doing better at, it's easier to motivate yourself to change.
4) Focus on getting rid of the FOMO you may be suffering from .
5) Take President Nelson's advice and go on a social media fast. It's been scientifically and spiritually proven to make you happier. It's most effective if you just do it without announcing to everyone that's what's going on.
Most important with all of these is the self-discipline. If you aren't consistent, it won't stick. The reward of having extra time and being happier and more efficient will be well worth the work you have to put in.
Perhaps leave your phone at home every so often? It's easier to not mindlessly scroll when your primary tool is missing. Is it practical for you? I don't know, but it's worth considering. I don't actually own a smartphone, but I try to curb my pointless desktop and tablet use by reading more comic books and graphic novels from the library as a more satisfying substitution. Gives my mind a break, you know? And now I've discovered the majesty of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl—memorably penned by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics—life does indeed seem less bleak than when I realize I've dumped an hour of it into cyberspace getting mad at my friends for having different opinions about cottage cheese (large curd FTW, BTW).
It appears you're not alone in looking for ways to curb your smartphone use, so... just don't get too down on yourself