Now we know you’re an addict too, what does this actually mean? How much is your smartphone addiction affecting your day to day life, let me count the ways…
1. Your cell phone is disrupting your sleep.
Have you ever checked your phone in the morning and thought ‘I don’t remember sending that text to so and so last night’? Have you ever had entire text conversations that you could not recall the next day? Sleep texting is a real thing, and it’s on the rise. As technology advances so does our sleep talking.
We have all heard about how the blue light from our phones, laptops, and tablets can affect how fast and easily we fall asleep. But, it turns out that such devices may be affecting the quality of sleep we have as well. JAMA Pediatrics published a study that suggests that bedtime use and accesses to our devices can be associated with inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness. According to a 2008 study there is a correlation between radiation emitted from our gadgets and our ability to fall asleep, as well as the amount of time we spend in deep sleep.
2. Your cell phone is limiting your ability to participate in reality.
The next time you’re sitting in a restaurant, if you stop stuffing your face with truffle fries momentarily, take a look around you. How many people are on their phones? Is your dining partner on their phone? Are you on your phone?
We all do it. Some do it more often than others. The term “phubbing” has been coined to refer to phone subbing, that is, when you are distracted by your phone when you are in the company of others. If you’re sitting there thinking you are not a phubber take this quick quiz to check! Phubbing, however humorous as it may sound, can be very detrimental to those around you. Research shows that those who feel their partners “phone snub” them have more conflicts and experience lower satisfaction in their relationships.
3. Blue are the feelings that live inside you
You know that rush you get when you can hear your phone ringing or a ping from a notification, but you can’t check it immediately? That is stress, and stress causes anxiety. If you too are a phone addict, you will experience anxiety in many different ways that surround your phone: you will feel anxious when you don’t receive timely responses from others, because you feel socially obligated to stay connected to social networks, and because you have lost the need to learn certain things because they are carried around with us. In these same experiences we also endure depressions. Why hasn’t he texted me back? Why doesn’t anyone want to talk to me? My friends are all busy texting and no one is texting me?
Further, other studies have indicated that heavy technology use among college students was correlated with a greater risk for anxiety and depression. This connection grew stronger for individuals who were found to use their devices as a “security blanket” to avoid dealing with unpleasant feelings or emotions. Over time, turning to a device when feeling uncomfortable can turn into an escapist pattern of behaviour. These behaviours will eventually create individuals who are increasingly vulnerable to stressors as a result of insufficient “emotional exercise”.
4. The panic you experience when you can’t find your phone, that’s called withdrawal.
If you have ever tried to cut back on your phone use, or god forbid you have forgotten it at home, you may have experienced one or more of these symptoms of withdrawal:
- Anger or irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Craving access to your device
5. You mean you’re NOT thinking about ME?
It has been found that people who spend more time on social media may display narcissistic personality traits. This comes from and is exhibited as snapping and posting endless amounts of selfies and posting all of your thoughts and details about your life. Assuming people are so keenly interested in your constant status updates can create an unhealthy sense of self-centredness.
If some of this stuff hasn’t scared you as much as me, what can I say? After falling down this rabbit hole, I think it’s time to change my habits… for a little while at least. Stay tuned for my 24 hour digital detox.