Too much of anything is a bad thing聽鈥 and that definitely goes for internet scrolling. We know that in teens, social media can cause mental health issues and daily scrolling could be聽the reason you can鈥檛 sleep.聽But you don鈥檛 have to quit social media entirely. There聽are聽ways to filter some of the information overload, take breaks from social media and generally just be a little more mindful about your internet consumption. We asked Felice Miller Gabriel, the co-founder of app developing company Delvv, for her best tips on聽curbing that smartphone addiction.


1. Keep an eye on yourself. Felice says the first step is to figure out what it is that鈥檚 causing the information overload. 鈥淭he average smartphone user checks their phone over 150 times a day and a majority of that is triggered by notifications,鈥 Felice tells us. 鈥淭he first key is to be aware of how you鈥檙e interacting with your smartphone.聽It might seem counterintuitive, but you can actually use an app to track your time wasting.鈥 Felice recommends Checky, an app that tracks how many times you check your phone in a day, as a good place to start.

2.聽Find the culprits.聽Next, ask yourself 鈥 which apps are you聽checking a million times a day? Which ones do you find yourself going down a black hole of scrolling? Not all apps or websites are equal time wasters. The key is to figure out which ones are the worst culprits. 鈥淭here鈥檚 so much information fragmented across too many streams on your smartphone. You have social stuff, the emails, the constant frenetic push notifications. It鈥檚 a conditioned response to open up our phones, but there鈥檚 a way to drill down and look more discreetly at the content you are focusing on,鈥 Felice says. She mentions Quality Time, an app that tracks which apps you鈥檙e spending the most time on throughout the day and allows you to set limits on those time wasters.

3.聽Use your phone settings.聽This one鈥檚 simple, but many people never actually take the time to do it. 鈥淕o in and disable the pointless push notifications that are constantly nudging and annoying you. Not all notifications are created equally. Direct messages like email, text messages and instant messages are generally more important than the social media updates, sport updates and news items.鈥 This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to simplify your smartphone time.

4.聽Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes, even if all the annoying notifications are switched off, it can be way too tempting to check your social media of choice every five minutes 鈥 even though you know nothing鈥檚 changed since the last time you checked. But聽鈥渒eeping your phone out of reach when you鈥檙e doing certain activities throughout the day鈥 is super helpful, Felice tells us. 鈥淭he easier it is to grab your phone, the more often you鈥檒l do it. It鈥檚 great to have a predetermined place in your home where you leave your phone when you don鈥檛 really want it. For me, I just keep it in my purse.鈥

Woman with headphones holding iPhone 6S Rose Gold

5.聽Set boundaries.聽鈥淣ot all communication requires an immediate response. It鈥檚 really great to just set aside times of day for following up with non-critical emails and let people know sort of when your office hours are for emails and keeping up with communications.鈥 If you鈥檙e really brave, you could also try this with texts (and Twitter mentions and Instagram DMs etc.).

6. Enforce the rules.聽Try bringing other people into your newfound non-tech time. Whether it鈥檚 your family or guests in your house, try building non-tech time into group聽activities. 鈥淲hile you鈥檙e out to dinner or hanging out with a friend, play the 鈥榩hone stack鈥 game,鈥 Felice says. 鈥淪tack your phones in the middle of the table and don鈥檛 check your phone until you鈥檙e done with your meal or activity. The first person to grab their phone has to pick up the tab. Seeing how often you feel the reflex to grab your phone the minute it buzzes or lights up will help you be more aware of your digital compulsions. This will also help retrain your brain to learn that nothing terrible happens when you don鈥檛 immediately respond to every text, call or email. At the very least, you鈥檒l enjoy a great time with friends without the constant interruption of your cell phones.鈥

Bottom line: 鈥淚 really think our phones should be more of an enabling device to live our lives, and not take over,鈥 Felice says. AMEN!

Which of these tips are you going to try out? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!聽

(Photos via Getty)