What are “Electronic Addictions”?

Electronic Addictions are addictions that are accessed through electronic devices such as Video Games, the Internet and Social Media.

How do I manage “Electronic Addictions”?

In short, here are 3 different strategies for you to try: Limit Access Electronically, Limit Access Physically OR Find something else to do. These strategies are all explained in further detail under the tabs above.

How do I “Limit Access Electronically”?

To Limit Access Electronically involves using software of electronic devices such as apps, browser extensions and default settings to limit the use of your electronic devices. To help you do this, I have broken it down into steps below:

Set a Time Limit

When I once played an open world video game, I knew that I would get addicted to it, so I limited my time playing it to 2 hours a day by setting a timer on my phone.

Hide the Influence

I can spend hours just watching YouTube videos and this wastes time I could use productively. In order to stop this I used a Google Chrome extension called “Block the YouTube feed”. This prevented me from taking interest in random videos that pop on the homepage and recommended videos side bar putting me in control of what I watch.

Make the Screen Look Boring

I find that I spend so much time on my phone because of how attractive it is to look at and this had to change. One trick used by professionals in Silicon Valley is to make the screen black and white which can be done in the phone’s settings. Another thing I did was make the wallpaper background solid black.

Delete Software Associated with the Addiction

I originally watched YouTube videos through the YouTube app on my phone which was problematic as it made so easy to access and lose myself in YouTube so I decided to delete the app off my phone and my other devices for good measure.

Block your Access to it

I realised that I could still watch YouTube through the phone’s internet so I blocked it using the ScreenTime (I use an iPhone) in my phone settings in order to keep YouTube completely off my phone fully preventing any temptation to use it.

Find an Alternative

One of the negative triggers of autism is boredom, I learned this from an autism course I did. I released that I could be tempted to unblock YouTube to cure my boredom. In order to avoid this, I looked for an alternative to YouTube which I found in the form of Facebook Videos: these videos require you to actively search for what you want to watch and they will lead to random videos which you most likely will not want to watch hence it puts you in control of the content.

How do I “Limit Access Physically”?

To Limit Access Physically means to find ways to keep yourself away from your device by moving it somewhere else. To help you do this, I have broken it down into steps below:

Turn you Device off

I always used to turn my phone off before I went to bed so it wouldn’t go off in the middle of the night disturbing my sleep. I did this until I started using the next step below.

Don’t have your Device right next to you

Nowadays, I always keep my phone on my desk which is at the opposite side of the room from my bed (where I tend to use it most often at home). This also motivates me to get out of bed if I want to use it.

Put your Device in another room

I have even gone as far as leaving my phone in the living room rather than take it up into bedroom with me.

Focus each of your Devices on a certain use

I only use my iPad for my work so I removed everything that I don’t need in order to work such as streaming software like Netflix and only keep things such as Pages and Keynote (Apple’s versions of Word and PowerPoint).

Find Alternatives to the Devices you use

I used to use my phone as an alarm clock but this had the negative habit of me then using my phone after turning off the alarm. I used to combat this by using an alarm clock and now I use my smart speaker for the alarm. Another thing I like to do is read and rather than use ebooks at home, I prefer to read physical books.

Downgrade your Device

I remember the first mobile phone I ever got was a Trium Mars, what we today call a dumb phone but they were revolutionary at the time. It was limited in what it could do and because of that people such as myself were happier not using them. Dumb phones still exist today and are ideal for anyone who can’t find any other way to deal with their phone addiction.

How can I “Find something else to do”?

Finding something else to do is about looking for an activity that is a better use of your time, something that you can focus on instead of an electronic screen. To help you do this, I have made a list of ideas for you down below:

Find an App that gets you moving physically

I started playing Pokémon GO on my phone when it first came out and it was a phenomenon. The game had you walk around in real life to catch Pokémon and would encourage you to explore different areas, even new ones in order to find more Pokémon.

Reading

Before I go to bed, I always try to make time to read a book. This could be a comic book, a novel or even a non-fiction book. Sometimes I find certain books difficult to read and for that I use audiobooks. An audiobook is a recording of person reading the book to you, this makes it easier as all you have to do is listen.

Listening to Music

Music is a great motivator for our emotions. For me, I like to listen to music that is either fast pace or has lyrics that inspire me when I run on my treadmill or do chores around the house. When I work, I use slower paced music such as classical or ambience to calm me down. Aspie Heroes has lists of music to listen to for both situations in the Health & Wellbeing section of the site, you can find our Aspie Heroes Health & Wellbeing page by clicking EXPLORE at the top of the page (Between ABOUT and CONTACT).

Walking

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. I find a good walk helps me clear my head of any worries I have by looking at what’s around me in the present moment as I walk by it.

Meditation

Meditation has been a huge benefit for me, I use it as a way to calm myself down when I get anxious and I use it to bring myself back to attention when I lose focus or concentration. Meditation can be simple as doing breathing exercises like this: breathe in for 3 seconds, holding the breath for 4 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds.

Technology is just a Tool

Technology is just a tool designed to help make our lives easier and more efficient. As we humans created computers, we should be the ones in control of them not them controlling us. We as humans have far more willpower than any piece of technology, all that we need to do is believe in our power.