When I came to the U.S. with my old phone with no touch screen, my American husband recommended switching to the iPhone for a better performance and a variety of perks. I was resisting the idea because knowing myself; I was afraid to get addicted…

It didn’t take me much to surrender though, maybe a couple of months. I was excited when I purchased my first iPhone—I had everything in my hand: my family and friends in Italy and around the world could be with me virtually everywhere. It represented a premium connection with the people I loved.

Fast forward a couple of years—my phone is full of apps: social, culture, travel, business. I look at the phone first thing in the morning and finish my day looking at the phone. I’m not happy about that, but can’t help it. With time, I curated a list of friends, interesting websites and news outlets that I follow on social media, and I find myself scrolling, scrolling, and scrolling. It’s a habit, but I do have some rules:

1. Silent tone with vibration

I couldn’t stand to hear the noise of my phone all day long. I started to use the silent mode while at work and got used to keeping it silent. In this way, I can hear the phone just when it’s close to me.

2. Few notifications

I received on-screen notifications just for messages; all the rest is visible just if I open that particular app. This practice makes me feel less overwhelmed, and it streams what’s important.

3. I don’t look at the phone when I’m with people

One of the saddest things of this tech era for me is seeing couples having dinner looking at their phone. In the long term, this habit is dangerous—communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship, and it should be a pleasure—especially at dinner.

4. I leave the phone home when I go take a walk during the weekend.

I usually carry my phone in my bag when I leave the house, but recently a started a detox habit. When my husband and I take a quick walk around the neighborhood or go to the park, we leave the phone home.

5.  I’m not a selfie person

Honestly, I don’t get selfies. I mean, if you are in special place, or traveling, it makes sense. But do you think that your friends want to see your face when you take the elevator? I don’t believe they care.

Surya Prakash Singh, another Thrive contributor collaborated with me on this article:

For Surya, the phone is a medium that connects him with loved ones. When he is with the people who matter to him, it becomes void. In any case, he considers it his mini office, entertainment hub, Pandora box of information and learning, his eBook and a mirage for music and shooting visuals.