Were you aware that 46 per cent of adults claim that they are addicted to their smartphones? What is perhaps even more concerning is that the symptoms for smartphone addiction are now even being seen in children and adolescents.
It is therefore vital to tackle smartphone addiction and to proactively adopt healthy tech habits. What do industry experts have to say on the matter and how can we begin to change this digital lifestyle?
The Impacts of Smartphone Addiction
While the notion of smartphone addiction might not appear overly serious at first glance, there are actually a number of concerns to address. Here are some examples of the effects of smartphone addiction upon our daily lives:
- Reduced cognitive skills
- Potential impacts upon short- and long-term memory
- Disrupted sleeping patterns
- Feelings of social isolation
Not only can smartphone addiction interfere with our ability to establish and maintain relationships, but studies suggest that this lifestyle may also lead to long-term health risks such as developing type 2 diabetes. As we can see, the effects of smartphone addiction cannot be taken lightly.
Understanding Smartphone Addiction
So, what are some of the root causes of smartphone addiction? The overuse of smartphones can actually be traced to several biological and psychological processes. For instance, one of the symptoms for smartphone addiction involves the fear of missing out (FOMO); leading individuals to remain constantly "plugged in" to social media circles. It has also been shown that the brain releases a small amount of dopamine when alerted to a notification; causing short-term feelings of gratification. Smartphone addictions may also represent a way to escape reality for brief periods of time.
The overuse of smartphones can likewise be traced to their user-friendly designs. Apps have been created in such a way as to provide an easy means of interaction. Some signs of smartphone addictions can be traced to how companies promote their services; causing consumers to believe that they "must" become involved. So, the effects of smartphone addiction should also be appreciated from a sales-oriented perspective.
Recognising the Signs of Smartphone Addiction
To effectively tackle smartphone addiction, appreciating a handful of common signs. The overuse of smartphones can involve the following scenarios:
- Feeling the need to constantly check the device
- Negative reactions when the phone is unavailable
- Social isolation
- Some symptoms for smartphone addiction may lead to changes in sleeping patterns
- A lack of interest in previously fun activities
These effects of smartphone addiction will naturally vary between individuals.
Strategies for a Healthier Digital Lifestyle
How can we address the overuse of smartphones and adopt healthy tech habits? Now that we have seen the signs of smartphone addiction, a bit of "digital detox" is in order.
Setting Digital Boundaries
One way to tackle smartphone addiction is to designate times when devices are not allowed (such as during dinner or after heading off to bed in the evening).
Mindful Smartphone Usage
The notion of mindful smartphone usage should also be examined to tackle smartphone addiction. What apps are being accessed? Do these provide any real benefits? Is the time spent in a constructive manner? Embracing healthy tech habits must first involve understanding what actions are being performed when interacting with the device itself.
In this sense, digital detox refers to disconnecting from a device for a certain period of time. As opposed to remaining immersed within a purely digital lifestyle, other activities can be performed. Examples include experiencing nature, meeting up with friends or physical exercise.
Rebuilding Real-Life Connections
Digital detox should also involve establishing meaningful societal connections. Face-to-face interactions are another way to reduce the negative effects of a mainly digital lifestyle.
Curating Your Digital Environment
Signs of smartphone addiction could likewise be addressed with user behaviour. Examples include deleting unnecessary applications, opting out of automatic notifications and leaving online groups that may cause feelings of anxiety.
Utiling Smartphone Features
Finally, modifying this digital lifestyle can come in the form of practical apps. Some can track usage while others may activate a do-not-disturb mode during important times of the day. Note that high-quality refurbished phones contain many of these features and they are excellent alternatives for those on a limited budget.
Smartphone addictions raises serious concerns and requires immediate attention. Might a bit of digital detox be in order? Does someone you know exhibit the symptoms for smartphone addiction mentioned above? If so, adopt a proactive mindset in order to achieve a healthier and more rewarding lifestyle.
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