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Tips for Living: Overcoming digital addictions

Published: Thursday, April 3 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

"Wake Up from Your Phone" is a 60-minute audio CD by Hank Smith.

Covenant Communications

Digital distractions are around almost every second of the day. If not careful, technology can take over. A new 60-minute audio recording by presenter Hank Smith, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, titled "Wake Up From Your Phone" (Covenant Communications, $11.99) discusses the potential problems associated with digital addiction and tips for keeping things in perspective.

To work on a problem, a person must know he or she has one. Smith asks his audience if any of them have Nomophobia? It's an actual condition of anxiety when a person is not in possession of a working cellphone. How about ringxiety? It is the false sensation that one's mobile phone is vibrating or ringing when it is not.

Smith outlines symptoms of people who have technology addictions: "You use hashtags in face to face conversations," Smith said. "You're thinking about getting married over Skype or you drop your phone on your face while using it lying down."

Smith asked some of his seminary students for suggestions of how to deal with digital distractions. Here is a list of 10 tips.

Be aware that five minutes can very easily turn into five hours.

Put the phone down when conversing. It's extremely difficult to talk to someone who is glued to a screen.

When going on a date, leave the phone in the car.

Charge the phone in a different place than where you sleep.

Never let a digital device come between you and a family relationship.

Never ditch a family activity so you can seek digital entertainment.

Put the addictive apps three levels deep on your phone or tablet so it's harder to access.

Turn off all notifications.

Leave your device home during church meetings.

Take digital breaks where you don't use technology for the weekend or for 24 hours. The results can be astounding.

rmorgenegg@desnews.com

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