Smartphones are taking over life as we know it. Unfortunately human beings tend to rely a lot on on things that help them make life simpler and invariably it leads to addiction. And off late, the incidences of smartphone addiction are on the rise and it leading to people messing their life and even losing jobs on account of this. Let us discuss this disturbing trend today!
It’s not so much the device itself that we’re addicted to, but rather what it allows us to do. But what is this easy access to communication and entertainment doing to us? Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, amongst other things, thinks that the smartphone is dangerous. He said, “By design, it’s an environment of almost constant interruptions and distractions. The smartphone, more than any other gadget, steals from us the opportunity to maintain our attention, to engage in contemplation and reflection, or even to be alone with our thoughts.”
How to tell if you’re an addict
Since this is AA, albeit a different kind of AA, we thought we’d offer up some telltale signs of smartphone addiction so you can test yourself.
- Do you reach for your smartphone first thing in the morning?
- Do you check your smartphone last thing at night?
- Do you break off conversation to check your smartphone immediately when a new notification comes in?
- Do you take your smartphone to the bathroom with you?
- Do you sometimes play with your smartphone while people are talking to you?
- Do you constantly find new uses for your smartphone to legitimize your attachment?
- Do you check your smartphone while watching a movie at the cinema?
- Do you refuse to ever turn your smartphone off?
- Do you keep your smartphone visible and within reach at all times?
- Do you sometimes just look at your smartphone even although it isn’t doing anything?
- Do you panic when you misplace your phone, even for a minute?
- Do you have to charge your smartphone more than once a day?
If you racked up more than nine yesses then you need to check yourself into the nearest clinic for a digital detox.
If you scored between five and eight yesses then there’s still hope for you, but you need to act now.
If you scored four or fewer yesses then relax, your smartphone hasn’t taken over your life just yet.
How to quit your smartphone
The thorny issue of how to wean yourself off the smartphone is tough. My problem is that I used my smartphone to quit smoking. It gives you something to do with your hands, it’s the perfect filler for awkward social situations, or when waiting for five minutes, and it can serve as a wee break from whatever you are doing, just like smokes. I’m sure I could quit the smartphone if I started smoking again!
You have to try and wean yourself off it gradually and it’s not an all or nothing deal. As smartphone addicts we just need to reduce our dependence and cut out the anti-social behavior. If you’ve ever been talking to someone and they took their phone out and started focusing on it instead of you, didn’t that make you feel like slapping it out of their hand? Well, there’s a good chance people feel that way when you do it. Try imposing time limits. Start by introducing a ten minute period where you’re not allowed to touch your smartphone, regardless of notifications, and gradually increase it to a half hour and beyond. You’ll soon develop the ability to ignore it when it would be impolite not to.
If you find that you are a hopeless addict then throw your smartphone in the nearest trash immediately…..on second thoughts you can just send it to AA and we’ll see that it’s disposed of responsibly.
In the true spirit of AA please share your smartphone addiction stories, the more humiliating the better, in the comments below, and let’s see if we can’t beat this thing.