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12 Impractical Ways to Break a Cell Phone Addiction

Some people can't just watch one episode of OINTB - they need to see the whole series in one sitting. Others can't enjoy a slice of cake - they must eat the whole thing, and lick the icing off the plate.
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Some people can't just watch one episode of OITNB - they need to see the whole series in one sitting. Others can't enjoy a slice of cake - they must eat the whole thing, and lick the icing off the plate.

I am someone who can't pick up my phone a few times a day to do sensible things like check email and take phone calls. (Okay and sometimes I have a problem with cake, too).

I use my phone constantly, most often for the purpose of Facebook perusing, Instagram posting, and blog reading. I panic when this device is not in my line of vision. Without it, I feel naked. As soon as I put it down, I miss it. It's sick, it really is.

My immoderate phone usage would be somewhat more acceptable if I was a very important person.

I may be VIP in some of my coolest dreams, but the reality is, I receive about one call per day - always from my grandmother - and my email inbox consists primarily of coupons from Target.

My obsession with my iPhone would be somewhat less appalling if I didn't have a one-and-a-half year old who has been known to dunk his head in a bowl of yogurt while my face is buried in online articles, or snatch the phone away from me and say, "The End."

I'm the first to admit I need an intervention. But I only want one if it's done right, in true A&E style - as in my entire family and a few close friends sitting in a hotel conference room waiting to ambush me with camera crews everywhere; my dad and brother chasing after me as I take off into open traffic clutching my iPhone to my chest, screaming, "I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE WITHOUT MY PHONE!"

My aunts back at the hotel huddled together weeping, while counselor Jeff VanVonderen (always my favorite) calls me on my cell phone, which I promptly pick up because I'll be damned if I lose my last chance to use it, and asks me to, once again, "Please accept this gift of treatment" which I finally, reluctantly, and dramatically do, "BUT ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF MY SON!"

Yeah, I have a feeling that's going to take a while to come together. So in the meantime, I'm taking matters into my own hands. I've come up with some ways to decrease excessive iPhone use, mostly from the comfort of home.

1. Temporarily lose phone between the bed and the wall. Remind yourself that this is only one of many reasons not to use the phone in bed. Acknowledge that this is poor sleep hygiene at its finest. Bribe yourself with unlimited Bravo shows in bed if you vow to never ever sleep with your cell phone again.

2. Tuck phone into pants pockets and forget it's in there when you throw your clothes into the wash. Problem solved.

3. Leave apps open all day long until phone battery is drained. Watch phone die a slow painful death as you desperately try to read one more status update. Charge phone in another room and don't retrieve it for at least a few hours. Lock the door if necessary.

4. Use your phone to take extreme amounts of photos and videos until there is no more storage left and no option to take any more. Find out what it's like to experience a moment, instead of trying to capture it. Realize that by the time you're usually done snapping away, reviewing the photos, choosing which are social media-worthy, and thinking up cute captions to accompany them, you've missed a lot - you've missed the point. Your child has also probably climbed up onto the kitchen table and is about to swing from the chandelier.

5. Put phone on top of the car. Drive away.

6. Delete your favorite apps, the ones so addicting you have no control over opening them up. The ones that suck you in, spit you out, eat up all your time, and leave you feeling used and abused. Pretend you're weeding a garden.

7. Venture out to places where phone use is prohibited, like the library. Take the risk and suffer the consequences - librarian stare-downs are simply not worth it.

8. Pretend you're on a plane and put the phone in Airplane Mode. Daydream about actually being on a plane on your way to a private island. Rediscover the art of using your imagination and thinking about something that's not on a screen.

9. Accidentally leave phone in the car on a 90-degree day. Let it melt.

10. Use so much data on phone that your monthly bill is twice what it should be. Feel that sting. Learn that lesson. At the very least, rethink opening up Facebook every time you get a notification. (Maybe every other).

11. Give your toddler the iPhone. While he's standing in very close proximity to an open toilet.

12. Focus on the only worthwhile part of your phone. For me, this is the Notes section, where I compulsively record every endearing thing about my son that I never want to forget, but inevitably will unless I write it all down. I type these notes in the moment and then when I have more time move them to my computer -- a machine I'm only slightly less addicted to.

Does lip trills when upset.

Everything is a 'car.'

Runs with hands outstretched behind his back like he's trying to gain extra speed.

Says 'no pinch' while pinching me.

Likes when I smell his feet and say 'EWW!' Makes me do it again and again.

Said 'I love you' for the first time today. To his stuffed Elmo, but still.

Saves food for later.

The weight of him when he sits in my lap to read a book.


On second thought, maybe I won't flush this phone down the toilet. And maybe you guys could hold off on the intervention (though you can still write me heartfelt letters if you want).