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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Are You Addicted to Your Phone?

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"Keeping connected is paramount in today’s digital society, but is our inconsumable obsession with our smartphones taking a toll on our inner health? Over the past 10 years we have seen a paradigm shift in the way we use technology, specifically with the rise of the smartphones that spawned from the release of Apple’s iconic iPhone. Marketed as technology to make our lives easier, more organized and convenient, it’s almost ironic that people are now feeling more time poor and stressed than ever before. 

In this article we will take a look at the side effects of smartphones, what it takes to digitally detox, and tips and tricks to distance yourself from distracting notifications. 

What’s The Relationship You Have With Your Phone?
Understanding the relationship with your phone is key to kicking the addiction with your so-called smartphone. Looking at how we use it, why we use it, when we use it and what we’re using it for is a great way to start evaluating how much time we spend looking at the black mirror. By evaluating the who, what, when, where and why, you can begin to understand what emotions you are hoping to experience or avoid. 
MIT professor Sherry Turkle discusses the many negative effects of our over-reliance on technology, arguing that it's changing not just what we do but who we are and adversely creating more lonely, isolated people. This discovery is not alone with social psychologist Adam Alter juxtaposing substance addiction with behavioural addictions. He noted that in the past we have mostly associated addiction to chemical substances, whereas now we have a phenomenon of people spending nearly three hours a day tethered to their cell phones - this is what we now know to be a behavioural addiction. 
Behavioural addictions are fast becoming social norms with a 2011 study suggesting that 41% of us have at least one. This increasingly high number is vastly due to the rise of social media platforms and the inevitable integration between the digital world and the ‘real world’.

How Is My Smartphone Affecting My Health?
As we’ve discovered, smartphones have the capacity to develop addictive behaviours similar to that of gambling, which can interfere with our everyday lives. Notable scientific studies demonstrate how classic addiction symptomology is intrinsically linked between smartphone overuse, which includes loss of control (e.g. distortion of time spent on the phone), preoccupation with the smartphone and withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps this suggests why we coined the appropriate term ‘Crackberry’? 
These addictive tendencies can wreak havoc on our productivity, brain function, wellbeing, work-life balance and even our personal lives with quantifiable evidence suggesting social anxiety and loneliness is intrinsically linked to smartphone use. While the primary function of a smartphone is to communicate more effectively with one another, it’s also important to remember to disconnect in order to really communicate with people.
Our ‘technostress’ (originally conceptualized as the negative influence of technology and social media) is directly associated with the round-the-clock accessibility afforded by mobile phones, creating a feeling of never being free and guilt at the inability to respond to notifications, calls and text messages. These feelings are now developing into mental health issues, with overuse symptoms severely increasing our risk of social isolation.

The Benefits of a Digital Detox:
More peace and less anxiety
Clearer thinking and less distraction
More focus and less multitasking
More creative and less reactive
More empowered and less guilt
Better sleep
More personable with stronger relationships
More conscious eating and drinking 

How Do I Kick My Smartphone Addiction Without Dropping Off The Face of The Planet?
We know smartphones are incredibly useful and we don’t think you should, or expect you to, give them up completely. However, there are some things you can do to maintain a more healthy relationship with technology. We’ve researched some key tips and tricks to keep your technostress at bay, ensuring you’re using your smartphone the smart way.

1. Get An Alarm Clock
It’s a trap to think you’ll just set your alarm on your phone and go to sleep. What really happens is you see a new notification and all of a sudden you’ve spent an hour mindlessly scrolling through an infinite Instagram feed of holiday pictures and click-bait videos. A great way to kick your social media craving is by taking away the temptation of checking your phone before bed - so pop it on charge in a different room and instead get a real alarm clock on your bedside table (not an app!). Not only will you get a better sleep, you’ll get more of it! 

2. Set Up Some Smartphone Hacks
Organize and categorize your applications into pertinent and non-pertinent folders. By doing this you will reduce the temptation to open social media applications for the sake of opening them. Another great way to reduce your screen time is by setting your phone to ‘grayscale’ - bolstering your battery life and your need to check the ‘gram'. 

3. Set Up Some Phone-Free Zones
Make certain rooms in the house phone free. The bedroom, living room and dining room are great places to start. Setting boundaries like this for yourself and your family can go a long way to improve connection and relationship satisfaction.

4. Know When to Turn Off
For many of us, work doesn’t end when the clock strikes five – and we mostly have our smartphones to blame for that. But by allowing yourself some screen-free time at the end of the day you can really evaluate whether you need to ‘drop everything’ to answer an after-hours work request or email. You can also turn off notifications for certain apps or snooze group conversations for a certain amount of time to give yourself some peace and quiet. 

5. Make Time to Actually ‘See’ Your Friends and Family
We’re social creatures by nature, so putting in effort to make some ‘face-to-face time’ for your friends and family will go a long way not only for your inner wellbeing but also for your friends! By the way, your mum and dad will thank you for this! And your kids also deserve to see the ‘real you’ rather than you glued to your phone. It’s really hard to tell your kids not to spend too much time on screens and devices if all they see is you scrolling your social feeds. 

6. Set Some Social Etiquette Phone Rules
When you’re with people, be with those people. It seems simple enough, but so often many of us get distracted by notifications and may unintentionally be rudely ignoring the ‘real’ people in front of us. Set and stick to some rules like ‘no phones at dinner’, ‘no social media when socializing’ (or maybe one quick selfie and then put the phone away!) and make conscious decisions on whether an email, text or phone call has to be addressed immediately or if it can wait. You can feel more empowered by your decision to control your phone use, and the people around you should feel more valued when you prioritize them." 

All words and pictures above are from an original article, with full links, here 

Do you think it's a good idea to have a digital detox? Are the younger generation more addicted to phones than the older generation? At what age should young people have a mobile phone? 
Do please share your thoughts … 

Readers - you will find a variety of articles (and recipe ideas), are within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
As always thanks for reading.

All the best Jan


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Interesting ---and these days, it seems as if MOST of us ARE addicted (somewhat at least) to our phones--and other gadgets.... seldom go anywhere without my phone these days --but I TRY very very hard not to pull it out when I'm with other people... I laugh when we go into a restaurant and see two people at a table. They are not talking to each other --but are on their phones!!! I have a good friend who cannot stay off of her phone for 5 minutes.. Kinda sad!!!!

Beside my iMac Computer, my Macbook (laptop), my iPhone, my FITBIT ----- I now have an Apple Watch... Hubby got the watch for me since I have A-Fib --and it does a GREAT job with heart rates along with other health challenges... It is paired with the iPhone --so I get all of my emails and messages and the news, sports, etc. on my watch now... I even get phone calls.. BUT--I can't call anyone from the watch!!!!! Some day SOON-- the watch will replace the phone, don't you think???? Oh this technology... Gotta love it and hate it... ha


eileeninmd said...


No I am not really addicted to my phone. I do not like seeing people on their phones while at dinner or with company. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day!

Anonymous said...

Rule of the house. No phones at meal times.


Chris Lally said...

These are precisely the reasons why I do not own a smartphone.
In fact, I misplaced my flip phone (no text capability) yesterday. I found it in the car & felt disappointed. I do not even like carrying it, but do so in case of emergency.
My daughter, who is in her 20s, said she wondered how nice it must have been to have grown up without all this technology...
I think the smartphone is a thief. I am a dinosaur.

JFM/Jan said...

I can honestly answer that no I am not.
I hate talking on the phone and this includes every kind of phone~


Christine said...

I don't think I am addicted, thanks for sharing these insights!

Elephant's Child said...

Not in the slightest bit addicted to my phone. It spends a lot of its days being ignored.
Sadly I can't say the same about the pc. Ours is not well, and I do feel a bit lost without it. And grateful when it is running.

Anonymous said...

Some very valid points in this article.
My first hate is when mobile phones are being used on a train, especially when I am trying to read my newspaper or book.
My second hate is having a meal in a restaurant and mobile phones are being used.
Mobile phones have their uses but sensibility seems to go out of the window, sometimes I wish the phones would too.

Thoughts from a Cranky Old Man

Tom said...! My computer, perhaps.

Martha said...

Far from it, Jan, for me. I don't even have a data plan on my phone.

Carla from The River said...

Thank goodness I am not, but I know some who are. I am able to leave my phone at home when going on a outing. I do not need to look at it. I am sad to see the younger generation seeming to be very addicted to it!

Catarina said...

I am not addicted to my mobile but it would be difficult to live without it.

Anonymous said...

I do like my phone.
I do like the desserts you've linked to.
Keto Warrior Carole

happyone said...

I feel the exact same way that Catarina does!

only slightly confused said...

I have a landline and a flip phone....the flip phone gets turned on if there is an emergency or I find clothes that might fit my grandies and I need to know sizes. The land line might ring twice a week. My computer time is down to about two hours a day. Nope...I don't think I am addicted. Of course I have been know to throw a hissy fit if the internet goes down so.....

Valerie-Jael said...

I do not use my phone more than necessary, and often go out without it when I go for a walk, this way I have a break. I hate seeing so many people walking around being 'steered' by the phones! Hugs, Valerie

Lee said...

Definitely not. I bought a cheap little mobile phone two 18 months ago only because of weather conditions had knocked out local phone connections for a few days. The mobile phone sits on a shelf in its case...for a "just in case" event...if my landline loses connection as it did the time I had reason to purchase the mobile. It gets charged once a week..and that's the only activity it gets.

I have no need to be talking on a phone when I'm out and about. I'm not fond of talking ion the phone at any time anywhere, for that matter.

RO said...

This is pretty interesting info, and sometimes I feel like I'm from another world because I'm not glued to my phone.(lol) I set out a certain amount of time to be online via my laptop, then I may check my other devices periodically throughout the day. I have a phone that I use to text or call family members, but for the most part when it comes to using the phone, I still use a landline. Great post! Hugs...RO

Sami said...

I don't think I'm addicted but I do use it often as I no longer have a landline and keep contact with the overseas family via whatsapp on my mobile.
At work I keep it in my bag at the back and don't look at it until I return home.
I do hate to see people paying a bill on the swipe machine and at the same time are looking through their phones and tapping away and not paying attention to what they are doing or walking around town looking at their phones and not seeing where they are going!!

George Pereira said...

i leave my smartphone at home most of the time. i usually use it on wifi to check the net. i have another old simple small mobile phone that i carry with me to make/receive calls.

Iris Flavia said...

I am old. At least when it comes to cell phones, LOL.
I look at it once a day - when it wakes me.
Then if someone calls me - if!
People with their heads down, glued to their stupid "smart" phones drive me nuts.
On holidays when I don´t have a PC and I do get WiFi then I surf on it but it´s no real fun.

William Kendall said...

I have days when I don't even turn the mobile on.

Bob Bushell said...

HELP, I cannot be without my phone!

Teresa said...

Muy interesante reportaje. Saludos.

Jenn Jilks said...

I don't have a phone. Well, only a landline, which seldom rings, except for scammers!!! They have certainly change dhuman behaviour.

Magic Love Crow said...

I don't own a cell phone!

It's me said...

It is terrible...ween you sit in a restaurant and look see telephones!! we not talking anymore ?....i leave my phone at hone with special things....ween They need me They call back again....lovely day Ria enjoy summer ☀️

Snowbird said...

What a fascinating post Jan, I do believe that the majority of people with smart phones are addicted to them, my daughter freely admits it. I find them useful, I check my email and steps a few times a day and use it as a watch and alarm clock. They are useful little gadgets. xxx

carol l mckenna said...

Very informative and valuable post for use of 'smart phone' ~ Brave new world!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Phil Slade said...

I would be very interested to hear how many people said "No" to that question. very few I think. I am I admit, especially when there is lots of news around. Like today - Trump and May - history in the making at your fingertips.