A smartphone can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how people use it. If smartphone users stick to good mobile habits, they can optimize their lives and increase the life of their devices. On the other hand, certain habits can be just as damaging for smartphones and their users. Based on these considerations, here are a few smartphone habits that one should stay clear of on a daily basis.
Constantly checking the phone
Smartphones are designed to be addictive. The relentless stream of beeps and chimes informs users about notifications from every possible app on their devices. Between such alerts, text messages, and other notifications, users give in and end up checking their smartphones every few seconds. This habit is problematic, as it slowly drains away both the smartphone battery and users’ concentration spans.
Due to digital saturation, various focus-based studies have found that smartphone users’ attention spans have dropped to about seven to eight seconds in recent decades. Heavy cell phone usage, which includes endless social media scrolling and web browsing, is one of the main factors behind depleting attention spans.
Doomscrolling on social media apps
Social media platforms are forever bustling with new updates: a close friend getting engaged, a pop star releasing a new single, a new meme doing the rounds, random celebrities throwing barbs at each other, and so on. Unsurprisingly, these updates make such platforms utterly addicting for users.
Social media mobile apps take this to another level. There is nothing easier or more convenient for smartphone users than to simply tap on an icon to get inside the world of social media, a place that resembles a wormhole in which users end up spending several minutes, if not hours, scrolling down to check out the never-ending stream of updates.
One way to escape this is by uninstalling such apps from one’s phone. The alternate pathway, which involves visiting the apps through the phone’s web browser, is slightly more cumbersome for users everywhere.
Draining the phone battery frequently
Overuse of phones results in their battery dying out more frequently than normal. While charging the phone can get it up and running again, daily draining the battery to zero multiple times can ultimately affect the battery’s functioning and drastically shorten the lifespan of a smartphone. Therefore, it is usually advisable for smartphone users to plug their phones into the mains when their device battery level falls below a certain level, say, about 15 or 20%.
By doing so, they can ensure that their devices can last longer because their batteries are not completely drained out every few hours.
Forgetting to back up data
Due to their handy nature, smartphones carry most users’ sensitive and confidential data. This means people may have information about their social security cards, bank accounts, and health details on their phones. This data has to be backed up regularly, or users could risk losing it if their phones are accidentally destroyed or lost. In addition, regularly backing up phone data can be automated by clicking on the option in the device’s settings.
This creates additional copies of users’ sensitive data on a backup drive or cloud folder for future use. More importantly, this habit relieves users even when they misplace or accidentally break their phones.
Scrolling before and during bedtime
Smartphones have bright and vibrant screens that cause the brain to inhibit melatonin production. Melatonin is the chemical that helps people drift off to sleep when they lie in their beds at night. Due to melatonin suppression, one may spend several hours on their phone overnight and get less sleep. Besides, smartphone activity is not passive, like watching TV late at night. This means that one is almost certainly awake while scrolling through their smartphone screen at night. This, in turn, results in people feeling fatigued, unrested, and unfocused throughout the day due to not getting enough hours of sleep during the night.
Over time, this sleep deprivation brought about by obsessive smartphone usage during the night causes issues such as clinical depression and anxiety. Therefore, one must keep their phone in another room before bed every night.
Indulging in online rants and fights
This is another social media-influenced problem. Social media has given everyone with any kind of opinion an easy and publicly accessible space to vent their frustrations online. This is why it is easy to find long, abusive rants on such platforms regarding the most first-world problems that can exist. For example, someone might publicly swear at a fast food restaurant through their social media handle for not offering a certain type of free dessert with their meal, or they might get into fights about another user’s political ideologies. While this may seem important to the one who is posting, it is uninteresting and unpleasant for other users to see. More importantly, the fact that someone can post abuse online with a device in their hand is a genuinely unsettling thought. Constant exposure to negative thoughts and sentiments can wreak havoc on one’s mental health.
Using the phone while walking
For a few years now, smartphone addiction has risen so much that people feel the urge to use their devices in the restroom or while walking. This is a harmful habit that may cause road accidents in which pedestrians fail to notice vehicles approaching them due to their eyes being fixated on the next YouTube video on their smartphone.
Forgetting to keep the phone software up to date
Software updates are essential to keeping a phone’s security levels and efficiency at their peak. Security threats evolve with time, so these updates keep a phone’s security levels evolving simultaneously. Therefore, ignoring such updates can leave one’s phone vulnerable to malicious security attacks such as phishing threats, viruses, malware, and other problems that may lead to data loss or smartphone damage altogether.
Therefore, as these updates are occasionally called, patches are essential for smartphones.
Besides avoiding these habits, individuals must research and buy the right smartphone that fulfills their needs. The best models have long battery lives, back up data automatically, and have smart display features that protect one’s eyes. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, launched earlier this year, is a great option with powerful cameras and a revolutionary flip screen. Its price ranges between $999 and $1,149.
Purchasing a good phone plan is as important as buying a good smartphone. A common mistake when choosing phone plans is not reading the fine print. Some plans have long-term contacts, meaning one cannot opt out of them whenever they like. Verizon’s plans are among the most popular. Its Unlimited Ultimate Plan offers 5G ultra-wideband, high-speed international data, and 60 GB premium mobile hotspot for just $55/line.