What Is Smartphone Addiction & How Does It Affect Us
Smartphone addiction is a real and growing concern, with reports of it afflicting one in five Americans. Smartphone addiction manifests itself in a variety of ways, from feeling overstimulated and unable to focus to missing family and friends, can’t sleep at night, to experiencing unexpected stress.
Nowadays, smartphone addiction for kids is very common. During the Corona epidemic’s lockdown, its use increased. Parents frequently place a smartphone or tablet in the child’s hand to keep them calm. Songs, cartoons, and hilarious movies are used to keep them quiet. Again, they are being pushed to hand over smartphones to children as a result of online programs in schools and colleges. Social Media scheduling tools can also be added to this problem, as they can help parents monitor the amount of time their children spend on social media and set usage limits to prevent excessive screen time. This can help reduce the risk of addiction and other negative effects associated with excessive smartphone use.
According to experts, children’s mental development is hampered by excessive phone use. Children get affected by a variety of eye illnesses as a result of mobile phone radiation. Addiction to smartphones and the internet impedes a child’s normal growth.
The good news is that it’s completely treatable, and you can overcome your smartphone addiction. While the first step is always awareness, let’s explore the most effective ways to combat smartphone addiction, why you need to do so, and how to go about it.
What exactly is the definition of smartphone addiction?
While some may use this term solely to refer to someone who cannot (or will not) live without their phone, others may use it to describe a person who finds themselves exhausted and overstimulated by their device.
Experts define smartphone addiction as a behavioral addiction that involves the inability to control your use of or dependence on your smartphone.
The term describes a compulsion to spend a significant amount of time on your phone, despite it negatively affecting other areas of your life, such as your relationships and educational or professional performance.
Smartphones are everywhere. Whether we’re walking down the street, waiting in line at the grocery store, or lounging on the couch with our families, we see people using their phones constantly. And while smartphones have made life incredibly convenient and opened the doors to unlimited entertainment and information, they also encourage overuse and distract us from important things that are happening around us.
How to combat smartphone addiction: Why you need to do so
Smartphone addiction can hurt your physical and emotional health. This impacts every aspect of your life, from your relationships to your education to your career. It can cause you to miss important social and family events, become less productive at work or school, and experience feelings of despair and inadequacy.
Additionally, your smartphone use is likely affecting your finances. You may be spending more money than you would otherwise (through monthly subscription plans and data usage) and you may be missing out on opportunities to save money through discounts and coupons, or other sales and promotions.
Smartphone addiction, also known as the use of handheld devices (like smartphones and tablets) in a way that negatively affects your life, is a growing problem, especially among teens.
Smartphone addiction is characterized by a pattern of behavior where people feel compelled to use their phones. They may feel anxious if they can’t access them or check them frequently, or they may find themselves using their phones longer than they had intended. Friends and family members of an addict might notice that the person has become detached, secretive, or isolating themselves as a result of their phone use.
Smartphone addiction, also known as smartphone overuse or mobile phone addiction, is a type of process addiction or compulsive behavior disorder. It’s the excessive use of one’s smartphone, to the point where it interferes with daily life. Smartphone addiction can present itself in a variety of ways, including:
- Constantly checking your phone for messages, app notifications, or social media updates
- Feeling anxious when you don’t have your phone
- Checking your phone before going to bed and immediately after waking up
- Using your phone while driving
- Playing games compulsively on your phone
How to combat smartphone addiction: Strategies you can try
Smartphone addiction is a complex condition, with a diverse range of potential root causes. Therefore, it may be necessary to try different strategies to discover which ones work best for you. Here are some methods to start reducing your smartphone addiction. Limit how long you spend on your smartphone.
Start keeping a phone timer, so you don’t forget about the time! Set limits with yourself – Are you willing to sacrifice certain things (like socializing or spending time with your family) to have more time using your phone? Create a “device-free” day. This can be a challenge, but it’s important to go without your smartphone for 24 hours. Remember, though, that you won’t be able to check social media, email, etc. for work, school, or other priorities.
Exercise – Yes, this may sound silly, but it’s an effective way to overcome smartphone addiction. Many people find that when they’re feeling busier than usual, they simply start moving their bodies! As odd as it may sound, getting a good stretch and workout can calm your brain and help you focus. It can also reduce the stress you feel when you don’t have your phone.
Look at your smartphone differently. Consider scheduling a time when you won’t be using your phone. Set up a “phone-free” place where you can go when you want to get away from your phone, such as a quiet room with no distractions.
You go through your day, never more than a few moments away from the palm-sized computer in your pocket. You wake up to it, you check it first thing in the morning, and you spend the entire day with it at your side. Your phone seems to be constantly buzzing, and you can’t help but reach for it every time. If this sounds like you, it might be time to start thinking about whether you have a smartphone addiction.
Smartphones are designed to be addictive—each new update adds new features that will keep us glued to our screens and eager for more. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with spending time on our phones, research shows that too much of anything can be bad for us. Here are some strategies that can help you combat smartphone addiction:
- Make it a daily routine to keep the child in front of the smart gadget for a particular length of time. Outside that time, keep the child away from the smartphone. You should also monitor what your child is doing or seeing on his or her smartphone.
- Limit your notification settings, and disable all the notifications that you don’t need. (seriously, no one needs to be notified every time someone likes their Instagram picture)
- Playing games that cause addiction should be limited.
- Download an app that helps you track your phone usage and set limits (like Moment or Usage Time).
- Limit the amount of time you spend on social networking apps.
- When you feel yourself reaching for the phone, drink a glass of water instead!
- Play with your child or watch the videos together if necessary. While you’re sitting with the child, you can also view educational videos. They will be more interested in watching these videos if they become a little older.
- Put your phone away while you eat meals with family and friends.
- Leave your phone in another room when going to bed at night.
- Set do not disturb mode for unknown calls at night, set only receives calls from favorite contacts.
How to combat smartphone addiction: Conclusion
Smartphone addiction is a serious condition that can affect your physical and emotional health. Fortunately, it is completely treatable and can be overcome. The key is to recognize when you have a problem and take steps to overcome it. With the right strategies, you can reduce or eliminate your smartphone addiction.
Remember, though, that you will never be able to eliminate your smartphone. It is a vital part of modern life and many people rely on them for work or school. However, you can learn to manage your smartphone use so that you can focus on what matters to you. Typically, the best way to combat smartphone addiction is by abandoning your phone for good. However, that’s easier said than done for most people, is included.
Image Credit: Tim Douglas