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Smart Living: Technology detox

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The average American spends close to four and a half hours on their phone every day, but recently, data encourages everyone to put the phone down.

A recent survey from reviews.org found Americans check their phones an average of 144 times a day, and every time people take a peek, they become distracted.

Research shows it takes an average of 23 minutes to bounce back from a distraction. Plus, excessive screen time has been linked to sedentary behavior, eye strain, depression, anxiety and social isolation.

If you want to spend less time on your phone, here are some tips.

Try turning off all notifications except those for calls or texts.

Also, set your phone to do not disturb during times when you want to use it less, and try removing emails from your phone. This will ensure that you carve out specific time on your desktop or laptop for responding to messages and less time checking your phone.

Apps such as Forest, Opal and Clear Space can help you stay focused and eliminate distractions by offering rewards.

Another trick when you are tempted to use your phone is habit swapping. That means picking another activity, such as walking, listening to music, or reading a book that will give you the same kind of pleasure.

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