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10 Signs You’re Probably Addicted to Your Smartphone (and How to Fight Back)

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10 Signs You’re Probably Addicted to Your Smartphone (and How to Fight Back)

You love your smartphone. It helps you get from point A to point B, it keeps your email readily accessible, and it helps you to stay connected to friends near and far. There’s no way something so awesome could be harmful, right?

Wrong.

Smartphone addiction is a real concern, especially as people become increasingly dependent on these gadgets to conduct daily activities. If you fear your devotion to your smartphone is bordering on addiction, here are 10 signs it might be time to seek help:

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1. You text people who are in the same room as you.

2. Your phone goes everywhere with you — even the bathroom.

3. You can’t recite any of your loved ones’ phone numbers from memory.

4. You sleep with your phone.

5. You don’t know how to turn your phone off.

6. Your self-esteem is tied to how many notifications you get.

7. You see more through the photo app on your phone than the eyes in your head.

8. You panic if your phone is out of sight.

9. You’d rather be late than arrive without your phone.

10. You can’t stop peeking at the screen, even during a movie or your favorite TV show.

What Smartphone Addiction Looks Like

Some of those signs may seem exaggerated or even silly, but they are real indicators that your dependence on your smartphone is reaching critical levels.

An addiction is characterized by an increased tolerance to something, so you need more to feel the same “high.” The instant feedback provided by smartphones is a pleasurable hit that drives us to constantly check our email or obsessively look up random facts. This pleasure-seeking behavior is indicative of an addiction; however, even though these habits might bug our friends and family, there is no real danger unless they are disruptive to your life.

That doesn’t mean a strong attachment to your smartphone is completely harmless. Difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, and increased anxiety — not to mention damage to interpersonal relationships and communication skills — have all been linked to smartphone overuse.

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How to Take Your Life Back

It’s easy to shrug off smartphone addiction as a silly overreaction, but if you identify with two or more of the signs listed above, you may want to consider cutting back.

Here are four easy ways to curb your smartphone use without having to go cold turkey:

1. Set Limits

Start by setting some guidelines to help you manage your usage. For example, you might make it a goal to wait one hour after waking up before reaching for your phone, or keep it turned off during dinner or your favorite show. It doesn’t matter how much time you designate as phone-free, as long as you designate some time.

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2. Let it Go

Do you feel like you have to immediately respond to every call, text, or email that comes your way? Try letting a call go to voicemail or leaving a text unread until you can give it your full attention. Gradually increase the number of times you wait until you’re truly available to respond. Eliminating these constant interruptions will ease tension, decrease anxiety, and enhance concentration and productivity.

3. Tune In to Your Feelings

Notice how you feel when you reach for your phone. Identifying your emotional state gives you a clue as to why you’re going for the phone. Are you bored, anxious, stressed out, or lonesome? Once you start to understand the feelings that lead you to lean on your smartphone, you can seek other ways to find relief.

4. Find a Substitute

Smartphones have become the number one self-soother out there. Identify other ways to provide comfort in situations where you tend to rely heavily on your phone. If you go to your phone when you feel bored or nervous, practice some mindfulness techniques that will help you tune in to your body and the world around you. This will help you to stay calm and connected to your surroundings, rather than using gadgets to disconnect and escape.

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Whether you’re ready for a complete digital detox or simply want to loosen the hold your smartphone has on you, it’s healthy to take an honest look at your dependence on technology and explore ways to unplug. Disengaging from that small screen, even a little bit, can help you experience a more fulfilling daily routine.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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