No one likes a break up, but in this case it could be necessary! [VIDEO]

Do you feel like your life is passing you by because you won't take a second to just look up? If you answer yes, it may be time to re-evaluate your relationship with your phone. It may even be time for a break up!

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  • Walk down any street, eat in any restaurant or peruse any mall and one of the most common sights you'll see is people attached to their phones. In modern society, we use phones for everything, from talking to other people, to finding directions and surfing the Internet. Modern living is synonymous with digital living for many people, and it's not hard to see why. Few can argue the usefulness of smartphones. It's handy to have instant access to knowledge, and our potential for connectivity with distant friends and loved ones can enrich our lives. However, all this technology is too seductive for some.

  • Psychologists are increasingly studying Internet and cell phone addiction. In one independent survey, five out of 10 smartphone users felt they qualified as having a cell phone addiction. The condition is so prevalent that there are even Internet and Tech Addiction Anonymous groups. While most of us probably don't have a true tech addiction, it is possible to have too much of a good thing with our cell phones.

  • If you're unsure whether you have a problem relationship with your cell phone, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Do I feel anxious, panicked, uncomfortable or irrationally irritable when I don't have my cell phone?

    • Is my cell phone usage interfering with my social life, or am I using my cell phone to avoid face-to-face interaction with others?

    • Am I missing out on important events with my family or friends because I'm on my phone?

    • Do I often get on my phone to "just check one thing" and end up spending much more time than I originally intended?

  • If you answered "yes" to more than one of these questions, it may be time to breakup with your cell phone. Unfortunately, it's hard to get away from technology completely. Our cell phones have become an integral part of our lives, and many of us use our phones to keep tabs on our kids and other family members. For most of us, completely leaving behind our cell phones is not an option. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't set limits on your usage. Use these guidelines to get your tech usage under control.

  • Have a "no-phone" zone in your home.

  • Keep your cell phone off the family dinner table and out of your bedroom. Don't miss out on valuable family time trying to keep up with your virtual world.

  • Designate a cut-off time each day and use a regular alarm clock.

  • For many cell phone users, the phone is the first thing they see each morning and the last thing they see before bed each night. Turn off your cell phone at a reasonable time each night and use a regular alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up each morning.

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  • Keep your phone out of your friendships.

  • When you're going out with friends, enforce a no-phone policy. Being present with our friends is much more important than keeping up with others who aren't physically present with you.

  • Practice safe cell phone usage.

  • No matter what, never, ever talk or text while driving. There is no call or text so important that it can't wait until you've pulled over to the side of the road. Keep yourself and everyone else safe.

  • Prevent tech addiction in your kids.

  • Set reasonable limits on your kids' cell phone usage, and practice what you preach. Kids need experience with live-time social interactions, and giving them unlimited cell phone access can cripple them socially.

  • Breaking up with your cell phone is a scary concept for some people. We become dependent on the sense of security that we get from our cell phones, but we can't trade that false sense of security for living in the moment. Real life is so much more amazing than virtual life. Being present with our family is a reward unto itself, no cell phone needed.

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Heather Hale is a fourth-generation Montanan and mom to three crazy boys.

Website: http://moderatelycrunchy.blogspot.com

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