It’s my Industrial-Strength Hairdryer, and I Can’t Live Without It!

^Princess Vespa, Spaceballs

Think there is something you can’t live without? The thought alone is reason enough to get some space, even a day will help. Unless you’re thinking of air, you literally cannot live without air.

Can’t help but check your cell phone every waking moment? Turn it off, hide it somewhere. Worried you’ll miss an urgent message? Warn a few people who can reach you by other means, or at least the second contact of anyone concerned. A day won’t be enough to break the compulsion, but it should expose the depth of your attachment.

Too much, too fast? Delete a few apps. Many so-called features are designed to benefit the developer, not you. More importantly, the minor effort to find the web version is often enough to catch the impulse before you feed it.

You may find yourself going too far, from excess to deprivation. At this point, reflect on a few things. First, is it really that bad? Although deprivation isn’t ideal, the experience is rarely worth fearing. Second, would you go back to 100% of your old habits? You might, but the temporary separation can also renew appreciation for the good things you reclaim.

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