Do you know what is the common point between a smartphone addict and a chain smoker? (Hint: it’s probably not what you think.)
More about that in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at the way you use technology these days.
You pay your bills online. You shop for clothes, order food, books and furniture online. You can do almost everything with the help of your phone.
Are you really that dependent on your smartphone on every aspect of your life? Or is it your brain that makes you think it’s okay to rely so much on your phone?
Let’s find out.
Can you go on a smartphone diet?
Constantly checking your smartphone is similar to compulsive eating.
When you have nothing much to do, you turn to your phone for entertainment, to keep yourself busy for the next couple of hours.
This behavior can become so compulsive that you will end up checking your phone to fill voids that actually do not exist.
When you diet for the first time, you feel uncomfortable. You experience cravings. But you soon realize that you can be fully operational with less food.
The same way, it won’t do you any harm if you check your updates or newsfeed fewer times per day. In fact, it may even save you some load and reduce your electricity bill.
All you have to do is rewiring your brain to learn to restrain yourself. Some methods can even help you achieve this healthy goal.
Can you make do with fewer apps than you have installed?
There is an app for everything.
I know I have tons I do not use.
I mindlessly browse updates on some of them, while others are just sitting unused.
It may appear that I constantly multitask on my phone and have a very busy existence, but in reality I could delete more than half of them without any harm.
It is the same as having thousands of contact numbers on the phone, or too many movies on your computer’s hard drive.
You are never actually going to use them, but your brain won’t let go of them.
Are you like a chain smoker?
Phone addiction alters your body just as nicotine addiction does.
Just as smokers calm down every time they get their “reward”, a smartphone addict always seeks new stuff online to fill their cravings.
The frequency of checking phones among such people is much more than is the frequency of lighting a cigarette in chain smokers.
This is probably because the “chemical reward” to our brains is not as important as with cigarettes. They are always at hand and the negative effects are not as obvious. I mean nobody is going to start coughing if they check their phone too many times.
They might feel pain in their eyes and thumbs, but who cares? And they will certainly not think about the long term effects of this compulsive behavior.
Whether you consider phone addiction as a form of mindless bingeing, a compulsive collectors’ urge, or simply chain smoking, the truth is that it has more to do with the brain and how it functions than with the phone itself.
Keep in mind that the addiction can be controlled if you can control your brain.