There is a fine line between enthusiasm and addiction. Especially when it comes to smartphone usage. In the case of ‘enthusiasm’, you essentially control the device. In the case of ‘addiction’, the device imperceptibly controls you.
It is very important for you to acknowledge this fine line and recognize when the scales are being tipped towards the more dangerous side. Yes, dangerous. Because too much smartphone usage tends to have negative implications on your overall well-being. You come under the influence of a technological compulsion, which worsens depression, anxiety, and unproductivity, in addition to affecting your physical health.
So, how can you know that you’re addicted to your smartphone? The following pointers will give you the answer.
You’re “Sandwiching” Sleep
Binge-watching a new television series on your smartphone with the courtesy High speed internet (if you do not have one then click here), sounds like a wonderful time pass to be sure. However, when this ‘constant entertainment session’ gets out of hand, it starts to cost something else—your health.
If your smartphone is the last thing you see before drifting off to sleep, and it is also the first object you look at just as you open your eyes, then, you, my dear reader, are addicted to the screen. This technological “sandwiching” of your precious sleep has exhaustive effects on your body and anti-proactive effects on your mind.
So, put your phone aside at least two hours before getting a nightcap. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day with loads of energy.
You’re Spiraling into “Unrealistic Comparisons”
Sally just uploaded her picture on Instagram showing her sunbathing in the Bahamas. Sam posted a video of the Niagra Falls. Stacey updated her collection of picturesque breakfast photos. And, you only felt a twinge of envy in your heart, not being able to do anything remotely close to spectacular, like any of them.
A little envy is only natural.
However, the comparative streak which you’ve recently developed is toxic to your wellbeing. What’s the culprit here? Social media and its standards of perfection, pushing you towards a deep-seated insecurity and an inferiority complex. The reason behind this constant state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction lies in your over-usage of the smartphone.
So, curtail it to be more appreciative of your circumstances and regain that gorgeous confidence you had beforehand.
You’re “Phubbing” Company
It is one thing enjoying cute cate vines when you’re alone. It is a whole other thing laughing at funny memes on the phone, specifically when you’re in the company of friends and family, with whom you’re supposed to spend some quality time. This latter scenario tends to threaten your social interactions, relationships, and standing.
“Phubbing” or as Google defines it, “the practice of ignoring one’s companion(s) in order to pay attention to one’s phone” is especially tough on romantic couples. So, if you sense that you’re using your phone even while your loved ones are chatting with you, then know that you’re addicted, and need to limit your screen time to attend the ‘real’ people in your life.
You’re Stuck in a “Stimulated-Anxious” Cycle
The phone is in your hands and you’re on top of the world.
Conversely, the phone is taken away from your grasp, and you’re at the bottom most tier of existence.
This “stimulated-anxious” cycle is the progenitor of bipolar and some such other disorders of the mind. Because when the dopamine (in-the-moment sudden burst of happiness) levels are switched on and off in the brain like that, they leave an unhealthy impact in their trail. So, spend some time away from your smartphone, learn to feel engaged in your surroundings and gain back the control of your mind.
Which one(s) of the aforementioned signs of smartphone addiction can you relate to? Let me know in the comments below.