The digital era provides numerous opportunities to stay in sync with recent updates and be aware of what happens around you. This benefit can also be a curse though. These days, you can access all kinds of information and content you need just by unlocking your phone and connecting to the internet. It’s fast, convenient, and… addictive.
Probably, every owner of a smartphone has gone through this stage when they couldn’t pull away from the screen. Yet, some stay in this limbo for years without even noticing it. So, here are the 5 signs of phone addiction and some recommendations on how to overcome the latter.
You Fail Major Deadlines
Most addictions result in neglecting serious stuff. That’s why getting absorbed by any kind of content from your phone can be considered an addiction if your job or school performance deteriorates. Obviously, it is impossible to write a report or prepare for exams when phone notifications keep coming again and again, especially when it’s something curious and exciting.
Students often have to ask ‘for an online dissertation writing service’ to keep up with deadlines at school just because they procrastinate a lot. And being glued to a phone screen is one of the most widespread ways to procrastinate. Finally, there are so many funny games, news, memes, and Twitter scandals – can’t be compared to a boring essay. It’s also relevant to ditching regular clean-ups of the apartment, by the way.
Inability to Focus on Anything Without Having Your Phone Around
The last stage of this state can be referred to as nomophobia – the fear of not having your phone around. Sure, when you think you’ve lost your phone in a public place, it is worth your attention. Yet, a lot of people carry around their phones all the time when staying in their apartment or somewhere else where nothing can hurt the gadget.
The trick is, even when the phone is within one’s eyesight, the compulsion to check whether there are new notifications may take over. So, trouble focusing is also an issue when the person does something else or looks anywhere else without using their phone even if it’s within reach. The gadget is just like a magnet for phone addicts.
App Lockers Don’t Work
The apps tracking one’s screen time and helping them take time off are not that magic, really. If you have the desire to focus on what’s important, they will help you. Otherwise, there is no guarantee at all. Addiction is basically all about looking for a reason why you can’t abstain from the bad habit you’re fighting. At some point, your mind starts looking for loopholes or bargaining.
“It’s only ten minutes and then I’ll work ten minutes more”, “I didn’t use this app yesterday, so I can use it twice longer today”. All of this may sound silly but not to the person who depends on the information they track via their phone.
Most people know well that:
- it will be longer than 10 minutes, much longer;
- that app wasn’t used yesterday because all the screen time was spent in a stupid match-3 game;
- one will end up turning off the app locker finding a reason why it is fair.
All the Topics You’re Excited About Are Not Connected to the Real World
The diversity of online content is truly astonishing. You can visit a gallery in France without setting a foot out of your flat, read all about the gorgeous views in Vermont in autumn, and see the proof in your friends’ Instagram. However, what about the quality of the content you consume? Who do you consume it for?
Knowing it all without ever experiencing it is like reading every day about a bunch of tasty recipes but ending up eating pre-made pizza only. The same concerns doing something for the sake of making it public on social media later. If you go out with your friends but focus on how your Instagram feed reacts to your stories and posts from the party, you miss out on the fun.
As a result, all the memories from the evening run down to scrolling the feed, seeing faces only through your camera, and barely talking to real people and discussing important topics. Isn’t that sad?
Are you familiar with that thing when you unlock your phone to check something important but end up forgetting about that because you get distracted by useless stuff? Or maybe with spending an evening in the company of friends but going through your gallery and social media over and over again?
From time to time, it may happen to most of us. Finally, there are urgent cases. Yet, it’s crucial to distinguish whether the case is really worth your attention right now and your time with the closest people. Phone addicts are not able to do that. For them, everything coming from their phone is the first priority.
Of course, phones are not the real reason one procrastinates, misses out on exciting opportunities and events, or gets distracted. It’s just another means of doing all of that or another thing to blame it on. So, ask yourself the following questions right now:
- How am I benefitting from this obsession?
- What amount of my screen time actually helps me solve (not get distracted from) my problems?
- What unpleasant things do I avoid when staying in the digital world?
These questions are not funny to answer, but it’s the direct way out of the obsession over a phone. Besides, addressing a counselor may also help. Phone addiction is just a result of shutting out the real world and/or your current needs. That is why learning how to address the latter and accept the former is key to solving any kind of addiction.