Less Phone, More Time For Fun & Health: Part One: How and Why Do We Become Addicted To Mobile Phones and Tech?
Phone addiction is visible almost anywhere you go. Pedestrians cross busy intersections in major cities while staring directly down at their phone. YouTube is full of videos of people walking into water fountains or trees while staring at their phone in public. And yet the scariest factor of phone addiction is that most people still drive and text at the same time.
A 2010 study published in the Current Opinion in Pediatrics found that as the internet has become easier to access, it has also become more damaging to teens. Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of death in teens.
The rise of internet addiction is directly linked to mental health problems in children. Kids who have access to the internet on their phone make it easier to bully other kids or be bullied themselves. They also have excess to sexually elicit material and sex predators.
During the month of April, Water for Health will dedicate its blog to phone addictions and how getting over them can help free up time for fun and health!
Why Do People Get Addicted To Their Phones?
As adults, we claim that we have very little time to do things such as spend more time with family, cook a nourishing meal or exercise. Yet, according to a study done by MobileInsurance.com, we spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the phone.
The worst part is that talking on the phone was the sixth most used function after checking social media and gaming! People become addicted to their phones because they were designed to keep us interested. Phones have replaced just about every electronic gadget imagine. They have become a watch, an iPod, an alarm clock, a fitness tool, a laptop and even a flash-light - all in one and all can be accessed within a few clicks.
The addiction of social media is a powerful force. We are now turning to Facebook and other social media sites to lift our mood in place of talking to another human being. According to a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, people use Facebook for relationship maintenance, entertainment and companionship. The study also found that people get instant gratification when using the site.
What Happens When We Get Addicted To Our Phones?
Many of us get bored in our daily lives and would rather live in a more interesting social world. So we turn to our phone instead of communicating face to face with others. This can cause problems in many different aspects of our lives.
First, we lose our ability to hold real conversations with other people. This can affect both personal and professional relationships. Text messages get misconstrued. There is nothing worse than someone misunderstanding your words because the message does not translate well over text.
Can you imagine being in a business meeting presenting your idea to the boss but you don’t know how to sit up straight or make eye contact? The awkwardness that is developed from a social media addiction may be mistaken for lack of confidence or intelligence. In many different personal and professional relationships, people still need to learn how to speak clearly to one another. The only way communication skills are developed is by practice, practice, practice.
Your family also suffers. If phone time is your way of winding down after work, think of all the ways you are letting your family down. You might be tired after a long day of work. But going outside to throw the ball around with your kids will give you more energy than sitting on the couch staring at your phone, and will make them feel really loved and adored, boosting their confidence too.
What We Miss Out On When We Become Addicted To Our Phones
Memories. Lots and lots of memories.
Sure, it is OK to whip out your phone to take a picture of a darling moment with your loved ones. But first you need to get off your phone and make those memories happen.
Some moments are worth only remembering in your mind. The kind of memories that you do not take a picture of is referred to as living in the moment. Being on your phone all the time takes away your spontaneity. You become predictable, rigid and boring. Living in the moment is about travelling to a beautiful place rather than “liking” a picture of it on social media.
Being addicted to your phone means you miss out on opportunities. Each day was given to you on purpose and it was not meant to be spent on the phone whereby you are missing out on life in exchange for helping a company that makes apps grow its followers.
Opportunities do not have to be life-changing to matter either. They can be as small as putting away your phone to pay attention at your child’s football game and noticing how they have improved. Then you’ll have an opportunity to talk to him or her about something that you could only experience if you were present in the moment.