How to Break Up With Your Phone Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: How to Break Up With Your Phone explores a common problem for all of us who are engaging with social media and constant use of phones, namely our addiction to these devices and the internet, and ways to ditch it for good and find meaning in our lives outside of our virtual encounters. 

Read in: 4 minutes

Favorite quote from the author:

how to break up with your phone summary

Almost everyone uses their phone these days. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that we are on our phones already for an average of three hours and fifteen minutes each day, it becomes clear that there is a growing problem with our dependence on technology.

In order to break up with your phone (and break up with mindless scrolling), it is important to recognize the ways in which you are using your phone as a distraction—and then find other ways to fill those gaps in time.

It’s not easy to break up with a technology that has become so ingrained in our lives. But it’s worth it—not only for your mental health but also for your physical health. How to Break Up With Your Phone might help! 

Let’s explore how you can break free from your phone addiction by looking at three of my favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Our phones drip-feed us dopamine, and that’s what makes us addicted to them.
  2. Phones can deeply affect cognitive performance and our brain’s short-term memory.
  3. If you want to change your toxic relationship with your phone, you’ll have to find a true desire to do so within yourself.

Time to take each lesson one by one and explore them in detail to see what they have to offer!

If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

Download PDF

Lesson 1: What makes us addicted to our phones is that they drip-feed us dopamine with every tiny interaction.

If you’re like most people, you have a phone. And if you’re like most people with phones, you probably check it compulsively throughout the day. A recent survey found that the average American spends more than 3 hours a day on their phone. This means that they spend nearly half of their waking hours staring at a screen.

And while it might seem like an odd habit, the truth is that our phones are having an impact on our lives in ways we may not even realize. They’re distracting us from work and relationships, and they’re making us less present at the moment.

So why are we tied to these little devices? Studies show that spending time on our phones releases dopamine, which is also known as the happy hormone. Phones have the power to make us happy at a touch of a button. 

When the brain feels the dopamine release, it prompts you to repeat the action, hence your constant desire to check your cell every time. The problem with this behavior is that it does more harm than good. 

Dopamine won’t replace quality time with your close ones, time spent in nature or working out, or meaningful encounters. However, it will occupy your free time and leave you feeling empty whenever you’re not around your phone.

Lesson 2: Our phones not only poison our mental performance, they also negatively influence our short-term memory.

When we look at our phones, we often see a way to connect with others, gather information quickly, and even entertain ourselves. But as we spend more time with our phones, we may start to notice that they are not just tools for communication and entertainment.

They are also designed to keep us coming back for more. For this reason, we get easily distracted when phones are nearby, and to no one’s surprise, they’re always around us. On top of it, there’s also another fact that adds to our addiction, and that has to do with biology.

The brain is wired to look for distractions since the beginning of time. This is how humans survived in nature. Without being alert to every external factor around them, how would they spot predators or upcoming hazards? Another problem with distraction is that it’s really easy for us to choose it over focus.

Focus takes brain power, and we’re biologically inclined to choose easier paths. Save the brain and physical energy when we can, and overall avoid thinking if possible. Conveniently, phones and their pop-up notifications are just the distraction our brain is looking for when we’re trying to be productive. 

Another main issue with our phones is that they affect our short-term memory and attention span. As they’re only a glance away, we end up getting distracted and forgetting what we were about to do.

Lesson 3: Treating your phone addiction starts with inner motivation.

The first step to breaking up with your phone is to develop an awareness of what you’re doing when you’re on your phone. Responding to work emails? Are you sending a text? Or maybe you are scrolling through social media? Or are you just wasting time?

Once you know what kind of activity is leading up to your phone usage, then you can start making decisions about how often these activities happen and whether they are worth it. If you find yourself checking social media for no reason at all, maybe it’s time to reconsider if those apps deserve a place in your life.

Another way to break up with your phone is by setting limits on how long you will be on it each day. For example: “I will only check my email at 8 am and 1 pm.” Or maybe “I will only check social media once per day.” 

If this feels too constricting for your lifestyle or work environment, try a different approach. “I will put my phone down each evening at 9 pm”. Moreover, ditching your phone at night will also help you sleep better and regulate your circadian cycle. As phones are known to be time-consuming before bed.

However, if you decide to improve your relationship with your phone just note that it should come from a genuine desire to ditch your problematic behavior. Not because you read this book or summary. Acknowledge your problem and fix it long-term by setting small, achievable goals.

How to Break Up With Your Phone Review

In How to Break Up With Your Phone, author Catherine Price examines the increasingly visible and often addictive relationships we have with our phones. 

The book considers how we could start using phones with more awareness. If done correctly, we can stop using our devices to provide endless distractions, and instead use them as tools to enhance our lives.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their relationship with their phone. To break free from mindless scrolling and the toxicity of social media.

Who would I recommend the How to Break Up With Your Phone summary to?

The 19-year-old person who is constantly on their phone. The 34-year-old concerned parent who wants to help their children get off their phones. Or the 30-year-old late boomer who finds that social media stands in the way between themselves and a better life and wants to ditch it for good.

Last Updated on December 22, 2023

Rate this book!
This book has an average rating of 4.5 based on 6 votes.

Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.