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There’s no denying that everyone loves their smartphone. For starters, they allow us to remain plugged in blog 2to what is going on in the office and at home.

But smartphone obsession is a different story. Smartphone obsession prevents us from getting the most out of a conference, workshop or other event because we’re too busy texting and emailing to take full advantage of being in the present. Smartphone obsession can also make you prone to burnout because if you aren’t careful, you can always be “plugged in” to work. (Could smartphone/Internet obsession be a future disorder in the DSM? But that’s a topic for another day.)

Vicki Milazzo, author of “Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman” offers tips to help take back your life from your smartphone. Here are two of them.

* Turn off cyberspace. How many of us, without even thinking, reply to an email or text as soon as it comes in? Milazzo points out that no award will be handed out at the end of the day for the person who responded the fastest! “If you’re doing nothing but responding to emails and texts, you’re bouncing around like a pinball. It’s important to keep in mind that the purpose of email and texts is not generate more email and texts,” she states.”Unless a response is necessary in order for the sender to move ahead on a task or project, it’s okay to let this person have the last word.”

* Tame the social media beast. Smartphone apps make it fun and easy to read friends’ status updates and to see the photos they’ve posted, or when we’re tagged in a photo. “That’s one reason social media is so addicting – it’s like experiencing hugs all day long,” Milazzo writes. “But remember, Facebook and Twitter won’t be evaluating your work performance and probably can’t qualify you for a raise either.”

Also, this is a real pet peeve of mine… when you’re sitting down for lunch or dinner with other people, don’t pick up your smartphone unless you are expecting an important call. If you are, that’s different, but otherwise, whenever someone interrupts me to “pick up,” it makes me feel like I’m not important. Besides, isn’t that what voice mail is for? Smartphones are great tools, but they don’t have to be obsessions. We are supposed to be the truly “smart” ones, not our devices.