In all ages, the overuse of smartphones is becoming an issue described as a digital addiction, where the user constantly chases entertainment and reward from their device. Thus, leading to problems in the brain resulting in mental and social complications.
What are those complications? In a study done by Erik Peper and Richard Harvey from San Francisco State University, those with digital addiction show higher levels of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. While in classrooms students sit and scroll through their phones ignoring those next to them. From this social behavior and interactions are reduced and they develop “iNeck” where student’s posture is affected as they angle their heads down into their laps.
Focus is tested as multitasking increases due to constant notifications that demand more attention through notifications relating to social media, texts, and phone calls. When their phone alerts them of new information it produces numerous reactions of whether or not to check the phone, if they don’t it will cause the user to worry due to the user’s need to be constantly up to date and if they do it will take more time to follow whatever path the notification sends you on.
Although people tend to feel anxious or lonely when separated by their phone, described as “phoneliness” other aspects will improve. You need to address problems as they arise because if you don’t you could go through life with a handful of issues; distracted, socially inept, anxious or depressed.
Actions can be taken to avoid these traps and cut your addiction. The first step is to realize that overtime your phone became more invasive to a point where you began to suffer. Because it is a widespread problem phone use has become socially accepted in places that it was once not. It is the motive of major tech companies to get users to spend more time on their devices. We have been conditioned by them to buy into new products and obsess about them. The more we do the more profitable they become.
So how do you cut the addiction and avoid falling into the corporate trap? Simply limiting the number of interruptions will point you in the right direction. Turning off push notifications or making an effort to only check your phone every once in a while, or leave your phone behind while you are busy. With more people willing to take action it can influence others to follow.
Looking for a way to get started and keep tracking of your performance? Check out That Balanced Life - a 14 day guide to jumpstart minimizing distractions and being more present.