PHONE ADDICTION – WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT

PHONE ADDICTION

I bought my first phone a little later than most of the other kids. I think a lot of the other kids were already texting and playing snake on their black and white nokia 3315s when I was in early high school in 2003-2005.

I’m not sure if I bought a nokia 3315 but I definitely remember buying a nokia 6131 around 2006 when I was 16. It had a colour screen and it was a flip phone which I thought was more hi tech than the colourless nokia 3315s that others had before.

I didn’t have data on my phone back then; all I pretty much used my phone for was to contact people, mostly my girlfriend at the time, using prepaid credit. Oh and the occasional game like snake!

I also had a couple of pretty cool ring tones and message tones that I blue toothed from someone else’s phone.

After that phone I bought a nokia 6300. Same deal as before I didn’t have data on it, used it for mostly txting and calling, and had a few tunes on it. I had this phone when I was 18-19.

When I was 19-20 (2009-2010) I got a job at a phone kiosk where I learned about all the phones, plans and data plans. At the time the first IPhone just came out and it was selling like crazy. I still had my nokia 6300 and my work buddies had the latest phones with a lot of data on it and were using their phones more than me.

I decided to upgrade my phone to something more advanced. I didn’t want to sign up to the new IPhone plan because it was out of my price range so I signed up to a Samsung f480 touch phone on a plan with some data on it.

This is when I started using my more, although I didn’t use it that much, I still browsed the net and went into facebook every so often.

After this phone plan expired I upgraded to the Samsung galaxy S2. This phone had a big nice touch screen, lots of data, good camera, wifi, and really nice display of the apps and all that.

This is when I started using my phone a lot and have been ever since, searching the net, facebook, snap chat, Instagram, youtube, music, porn, tinder, emails, calling and txting, facebook messenger.

Just like everyone else I was unlocking and using my phone all day every day, sometimes using my phone for an hour or so straight at a time.

My parents would often say to me “get off that phone!”

Fast forward to today and with my current galaxy S8+ (I went through the Galaxy S4, S6 and now the S8+) and not much has changed. I use my phone a lot.

My story is probably very similar to many others. Over the last 15 years we have gone from using a black and white to play snake and talk and text to being full blown ADDICTED!

It’s an epidemic, all over the world we are reaching for our phones like someone who is addicted to cigarettes or heroin.

And the question is WHY?

We are addicted to our phones because they are so useful and the little dopamine rush we get when we have a notification on snapchat, facebook etc

The smart phone is an amazing invention, we can do so much with it, we can access all the information available on the internet whenever we want, in the palm of our hands, and this is mind blowing when you actually think about it.

we can learn about anything, communicate with anyone, entertain ourselves, take high quality photos and upload them instantly, we can post a live video and your mate in another country can see it how it’s happening, we can pick up the other sex on dating apps, stream music to your headphones or car Bluetooth, and the list goes on, just download and app you’ll use and wam!

The smart phone is an amazing invention, but the ironic thing is,

IT’S MAKING US DUMB

I see people walking down the street looking at their phones, I see people snap chatting and driving, I see people going to an event and caring more about taking a photo of the moment and snap chatting a whole friggen music event instead of enjoying the moment, I see people using their phones when they are around their friends and family, I see people using their phones when they are out in nature, I see people using their phones when they should be doing something else productive or meaningful.

A few years ago you would here of people deactivating their social media to take a break and everyone would say “oh ok”

Today I don’t see that happening, you deactivate social media and people will be like “what!” and you will literally be out of the loop, because everything is online now.

We are all addicted, and I am no different.

In the economic capitalist system people can start businesses and supply goods and services when there is a demand for that need. It works great, when there is money to be made and value to be provided someone will be there because most people want to make money, its competition, it’s called the invisible hand of economics.

This system works well, but it is also regulated by the government. The government will say what things are legal and illegal, how much to cap things and stuff like that to regulate the economic machine and stop it from going crazy.

Imagine if we had no government, people will be buying and selling drugs and weapons all over the place and companies will do really unfair things and get away with it.

Back to smart phones, your phone is a really really amazing invention, that is why we are all hooked.

But we have no regulation on this phone use. We are free to use our phone whenever and however we choose. We are and toddlers and kids are to!

What we need to do is regulate our phone use ourselves, because no one can regulate it for us!

We need to be strict on ourselves, because it’s not like cigarettes where we should stop the use ENTIRELEY. It’s different, we should still use our phones, but we need to be strict and MANAGE OUR USE.

Everyone out there today needs to set themselves some guidelines on how they will use their phone. I have thought of some ideas and I will explain now.

TIMES TO NEVER USE YOUR PHONE

Driving, walking, operating machinery or doing something else that would put the safety of you or someone else at risk! I see people sending snaps of themselves driving all the time, this is a scary thought that there is other cars on the road right now where someone is doing that and risking their and others lives. From now on never use your phone when you are in a situation like this!

AT NIGHT WHEN YOU SHOULD BE ASLEEP

If go to bed but you don’t go to sleep because you are using your phone even if you are tired, put your phone down and go to sleep! If you wake up in the middle of the night or you can’t sleep, don’t touch your phone, it can wait until morning, unless it’s an emergency.

FIRST THING WHEN YOU WAKE UP

I check my phone first thing when I wake up but what I notice is that because I just woke up it kind of strains my eyes to look at the bright light first thing in the morning, don’t check your phone to a bit later.

WHEN YOU ARE ON THE TOILET

You can use your phone when you are on the toilet but bare in mind it’s kind of unhygienic and if you are finished get off the toilet lol don’t sit in there because you are on your phone haha.

WHEN YOU ARE EATING

When you are eating throughout the day don’t use your phone, just don’t! You can use it after you have finished.

WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK

Work pays you to do work, not to use your phone, besides work related things and emergency’s, you shouldn’t be playing around on your phone during work hours, unless you have some down time and I mean there is nothing else to do, you should be keeping busy and doing work instead. The same goes if it’s your own business. Become more productive in your work or business instead of using phone.

WHEN YOU ARE DOING A TASK

When you are doing a task like cooking, cleaning, going to the gym, exercising, walking the dog, cleaning the car, or something like that. Leave your phone in your pocket or in another room and don’t take it out! You will be more focused and get the task done more efficiently.

WHEN YOU ARE WITH OTHER PEOPLE

Remember other humans? Those things that are there in front of us talking to us? Yeah don’t ignore them by being on your phone. From now on when you are with your family, out to dinner or something with your friends and having a chat, don’t use your phone, it’s rude.

DON’T USE YOUR PHONE FOR HALF HOURS TO HOURS ON END

You can check some notifications quickly, if you are reading some articles or browsing through facebook you may be on your phone a bit longer but you should not be on your phone for over 15 minutes in most cases.

Today a lot of people will sit there on their phone for literally HOURS. We don’t even know if holding an electronic device this close to your face for that long is bad for us. I have noticed some slight double vision at night in the last few years and the optometrist said I have a slight astigmatism. He said it’s because it’s the shape of my eye or lense and that I was probably born like that but I put it down to focusing on the narrow phone screen close to my face too much over the last 5 years.

If you want to watch something like a lot of youtube, a movie, or read a lot just use a PC, laptop or do it through your TV.

WHEN WATCHING TV, MOVIES

I feel like we can’t enjoy a good tv show or movie anymore because we always watch it while we use our phones, our attention span has shortened, we rather look at some memes or something than appreciate a good movie that a lot of time and effort went into, from now on we should keep the phone away in our pocket or another room when we watch something.

OTHER THINGS/TIPS

Turn push notifications off. This way if you want to check your social media you need to click on the app.

Delete the icons. If you really can’t stop clicking on them, delete them until you later where you can install it again.

Use phone only for emergency calls at designated times.

Before taking phone out of pocket ask yourself, what am I about to do? Do I really need to do this? Why am I doing this? Is it necessary?

Delete social media if you have to.

Use your lap top, PC or TV for longer internet, youtube browsing. It’s better for your eyes and for the experience.

WHEN CAN/SHOULD YOU USE YOUR PHONE?

Ok so phones are very useful, I’m not saying we shouldn’t use them at all, we just need to control our use and use them better.

In most of my examples above I have replaced phone use with another task. The key is to KEEP BUSY and do a different task.

Think of a day when you really are buy, you are flat out at work then you need to do something else after work, cook, go to the gym or do something else and then you go on your phone and you have all these notifications, it’s kind of like that.

So when and how should you use your phone? You need to plan when you will use your phone and for what.

For example let’s say you want to watch some cooking recipe videos on youtube, read the news, look for property, research something, learn about something, or even entertain yourself with social media or games.

The key is to set aside a planned timeslot you will do this.

You might say ok I will use my phone for a short time for this after breakfast, on my lunch break, and after work, and I will use my phone to do this for half an hour at this time at night.

You use your phone at designated times that you have planned for yourself and the other times you are busy doing other tasks.

You should still use the smart phone for all the smart things it can do you just need to control when and how you will use it.

Tie the phone use to your goals or even a scheduled time to relax and use it for entertainment. That’s perfectly ok.

Do you understand what I mean?

We are all using our phone too much and it is having a negative impact on our life’s and the life’s of others, we need to control our phone use and use them to benefit us, after all they are supposed to be smart phones.

We could go onto our phones and learn about anything but most people these days would rather send a snap chat of themselves with dog ears while they are driving lol.

SMART PHONES …. Used for a slight dopamine rush because of the feeling of social validation while operating a machine driving at 70kmph. DUMB PHONES! I’m laughing right now haha.

Let me know what you people think in the comment section below, let me know your thoughts, your addiction, ways you control it, anything.

Also check out my other article where I went without my phone for a day.

Thanks for reading.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*