Have you ever felt like 24 hours is not enough or you don’t have enough time to do your work?
No doubt we all have had those thoughts and it has become the biggest excuse of some people’s lives.
Here’s the other question…. Have you ever thought that how many hours you work per day and how many hours you spend on your phone?
I am sure some of us not going to like the answer.
Nowadays, the smartphone and the internet have become an essential part of our lives. I don’t say using them is a bad habit and we must stop using our phones or the internet. But as we all know the rectification needs to be done for the purpose we use them.
Using a smartphone and the internet wisely will give a world of opportunities rather than using them simply for the sake of passing time.
Using the phone just to pass the time is an addiction and we call it “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone) or “Internet addiction disorder”.
This addiction is just like any other addictions such as drugs and alcohol, they can trigger the release of the brain chemical, dopamine and alter your mood. This addiction can become intense. And when that happens your brain will control you and let you think that time is no longer an important part of your life.
Addiction to a smartphone could be a symptom of anxiety, stress, depression, or loneliness
Excessive usage of phone can cause a variety of impulse-control problems such as…
· Losing your real-life loved ones
Even though social media is a great place to connect with friends, connect with the world or even find your love, most of the time those relationships are just for the sake of time passing. But if you spend much time with them or in online gaming, online shopping or simply with your phone, eventually you will disconnect with your real life partners who were and will be there whenever you need them and most of those relationships end with broken hearts and making disappointment on you. The consequence of this will lead to loneliness or depression.
· Lower your productivity (Procrastinate)
When you spend more time on your phone you won’t have time to complete your daily task and this could impact your career growth and maybe losing your job. If you are a student, this addiction leads you towards procrastination and will lower exam grades and sometimes you will have to wait at the bottom in the job market because of your low exam grades.
· Leads to Cybersex addiction
Excessive use of internet pornography, sexting, nude-swapping, or adult messaging services can impact long-term intimate relationships or damage an existing relationship or overall emotional health.
· Increasing stress and anxiety
Studies have shown, heavier a person uses his or her phone, the greater the stress and anxiety they experienced.
Common symptoms of smartphone addiction
· Difficult of concentrating
· Forget things
· Sleep problems
· Craving access to your smartphone or other devices
If you have one or a few of the above symptoms, do not worry. You can easily overcome your addiction by following the below tips.
How to unplug and disconnect
Identify the trigger which makes you use the phone
The trigger could be loneliness, boredom or any other reason. Sometimes, the reason could be that you are suffering from depression, anxiety, stress.
Schedule your usage time of smartphone
You can set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes to use your phone after completing your chores and make a strong decision not to use your phone before finishing the task that you started. Once you practice this every day, automatically it becomes your habit and you will be able to reduce the craving of using the phone.
Set an unplugged hour for the day
Every day you can spend one hour without using your phone or the internet. You can start new healthy activities such as exercise, going for a walk, share your love with your family and friends. Furthermore, you can separate this hour for reading.
Don’t bring your phone to bed
The blue light emitted by the screens can disrupt your sleep if used within two hours of bedtime.
Those are the things that you can do yourself. But if you need more help, there are specialist treatment centres that offer digital detox programs to help you disconnect from digital media.
You can go through Cognitive-behavioural therapy (which provides step-by-step ways to stop the addiction), Marriage or couples counselling, Group support if you need any special help.
Organizations such as Internet Tech Addiction Anonymous (ITAA) and On-Line Gamers Anonymous offer online support and face-to-face meetings to curb excessive technology use.
(Based on the article of Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.)
If you practice these methods regularly you will realise how much time you have to do not only your regular chores but also try new things. Nevertheless, this is one of the important parts if you need to be grounded and mindfully embrace your life.