Tips

Phone addiction facts: Signs and how to stop it

Can’t put your phone away? Do you think you hear your phone when you don’t? Do you almost constantly check your social media? Do you check your phone when you talk to someone? Are you immediately on your phone when you have nothing to do? Do you recognize yourself in this? Then you could be a phone addict.

Smartphones can no longer be ignored in our society. It is convenient, but it also exerts excellent appeal. Such a red dot in the top right-hand corner of the app’s icon makes you curious. You want to know what is there, who wrote what, what news you have now received.

Many people have their phones within reach day and night. Can you put your phone away for half a day without looking at it?

It is not the phone that is addictive, but the place that you give your phone in your life.

What are the signs of a phone addiction?

Many studies in different countries have been conducted into telephone behavior. All those studies showed that people started to develop withdrawal symptoms when they didn’t have their phones at hand. What are the signs of a phone addiction?

  • Your phone is within reach, so you can respond immediately when ‘something’ comes in.
  • You can’t leave your phone alone for 5 minutes. Quickly check if you have not missed something, although you have not heard a sound or have seen your screen light up because a message is coming in.
  • You get restless, sometimes even stressed, if you don’t have your phone with you, the battery is empty or accidentally turned off. Who knows what you have been missing. The latter is also called FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. When you are not reachable via your mobile phone, the fear you experience has even given a name of its own: nomophobia. That stands for no mobile phobia. Translated: the fear of being without a telephone.

Consequences of phone addiction

Your world is increasingly becoming the screen of your phone. Do you know how long you ‘sit’ on your phone? How many minutes per day do you think? Please keep it for a week, for example. Some phones register this themselves. Otherwise, download a screentime tracker app. After a week, compare your screen time on the app with your estimate. Well, are you estimated or shocked?

Spending too much time on your phone has all kinds of consequences, such as:

  • You meet less with friends: Your attention/focus shifts from everyday life to your phone screen. You are less likely to go somewhere; you are alienating from your environment. Texting each other, FaceTiming, is different from seeing and speaking to each other.
  • You don’t know much about what’s going on around you: You miss that unique moment because you were looking at your screen. You can no longer share that moment with others.
  • Your social skills deteriorate: You forget to have a conversation, listen to someone, and look at body language. Your telephone addiction puts you ‘less among people’.
  • You get to know new people less quickly if you look at your screen: Meeting someone in person is different than on your phone.
  • The light from your screen also prevents a particular hormone from being produced. These make it worse for you to fall asleep. And what do you do then? Just look at your screen again.

Tips to get rid of your phone addiction

  1. Turn off the notifications (push messages) via settings.

2. You will no longer see or hear any notifications. You will no longer be triggered to pick up your phone if it gives a sign of life.

3. Check your social media twice a day.

4. Check and process all your emails, apps, and other messages (Facebook, Instagram) in the morning and the evening. Efficient and reassuring. You then no longer let notifications determine your life. You are in control again.

5. Tell friends and family how you interact with your phone and notifications that arrive on it. Often others expect an immediate response to a message. If it is urgent, ask them to call you.

6. Ignore the urge to pick up your phone every time. Be aware of your behavior and try to change it. Put your mobile phone on the other side of the room with the sound off.

7. Do you use your phone as an alarm clock? Then set the alarm in advance and not when you get into bed. Because then you open that app, or you quickly take a look at Instagram, for example.

Start the day without a phone and end the day like that. Start your day with breakfast. Only then, check your phone. Also, stop checking your phone an hour before going to bed. The light from the screen and the content of the message disrupt your sleep rhythm.

Onyinye A.

Onyinye Abasim, from Nigeria. I'm a biochemist, content writer, and an entrepreneur. Email: Onyii@afrinik.com

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