There are a lot of things out there that we can get addicted to. We all know about drugs and alcohol but in reality there is a lot more than that. We can get addicted to certain foods, activities and yes, even our smartphones! In fact, smartphone addiction is almost just as destructive to us.
Our addiction to smartphones isn’t the same as smoking or doing drugs, but it can still impact our health. Anything that causes addiction can steal away our focus from more important things that matter to us. Which is why taking care of ourselves is typically overlooked when we get addicted to something.
How We Get Smartphone Addiction
You might be wondering why I don’t mention older “non-smart” phones, and there is a reason! Smartphones have more apps and more distractions and addictions are mostly on those devices.
The addiction is the result of our need to check our smartphones constantly. Whether it’s for social media, emails or other messaging apps, it’s an addiction when there is a need. But there is also a difference between work need and addiction need!
Work need is mostly during office hours but if you still have to constantly check your smartphone at home, you might have an addiction. Basically, it’s that feeling that you have to check it or do something on it. Ironically, smartphones are made to cause us to feel this way!
App developers can make more money the more we use our smartphones. Having notifications or strong incentives to open an app can often lead to an addiction. It’s the whole ecosystem really.
Why Businesses And Developers Benefit
As I mentioned above, they want you to spend time on your devices. Ads bring in revenue but sometimes your habits also pay off. And ultimately data also carries a value too.
The more we use our smartphones the more opportunities there are for profit. Google benefits by tracking our habits because it allows them to specialize ads or suggestions. Smaller developers can also benefit in the same way depending on what data they collect.
Social media is also very profitable but it only makes money when we use it. Giving away our information, clicking ads or attracting our friends to a new platform can all add up too.
In general, anything you do on your smartphone will likely benefit some company in some way.
A Deeper Look At Addiction
Smartphone addiction is somewhat similar to substances that cause it. They both cause dopamine to be released which is like an incentive and reward for doing something. This rewarding feeling is what causes the addiction in smartphones.
When we see a notification on our phones we have a need to click it, which makes us feel better. Some mobile games take advantage of this by displaying flashy notifications and other offers to us. But overall the entire device is used to grab our attention.
Once we have been rewarded by our brains from clicking the notifications, we feel relieved. But this keeps getting worse the more often that we do it, because we feel good about it each time. The continual rewarding of our brains causes us to need it more frequently and that’s where addiction starts. If you had to skip using your smartphone for a day, could you? It would probably be difficult!
Balancing Between Needs And Wants
A lot of people say they need their smartphones and this can be true. But what they typically don’t “need”, is to constantly check their smartphone. This is where those who get addicted are unable to figure out what is actually a need and what is just a want.
Wanting to check your smartphone ten times an hour isn’t necessarily a need. Think about, if you check it four times in that hour it would be checking your phone every fifteen minutes! Ten times would be every six minutes.
Realistically, we don’t need to check our smartphones that often but many people check them much more frequently than that. Even if it’s your job it can get to a point when you have to figure out what is too much.
Smartphone Addiction’s Impact On Health
Health is very important. Sadly, we rarely notice the impact our smartphone has on our health. It takes a toll on our bodies both physically and mentally.
The mental impact is due to the addiction making us constantly need our smartphones. It may impair our driving, focus and even our memory. Focus and memory go together because to remember something accurately, it takes focus. Our smartphones are great at distracting us and removing that focus!
They also affect us physically. Staying up late just to text or read may impact our vision in a negative way. Most smartphones have a form of blue light that might actually be bad for our eyesight, especially in darkness. But the addiction might also cause us to skip meals or not take care of ourselves in that way too.
Lastly, it affects those around us. We are not focused on our surroundings which can mean we lose opportunities and have fewer social interactions. This can negatively affect us mentally and physically. Social interaction is an important way for us to express ourselves.
Ways To Reduce Smartphone Addiction
While the addiction is very real, there are many ways to help reduce it. More and more manufacturers are developing a quiet mode. This will remove noises or notifications from distracting you. It’s especially useful at night.
You should create a time of day that is off limits from using your smartphone. This should help ease you into relaxing at night or during meal times. Make sure you also delete unnecessary apps that are taking away your focus. While playing a mobile game is perfectly fine, if you have to constantly check it then it’s likely going to cause an addiction. Be proactive!
It’s really as simple as that. By reducing time spent on your smartphone and deleting apps or constant distractions, you’re less likely to get addicted. And if you already have a problem, it might be a struggle at first but eventually it’ll get easier.
Ending The Addiction
Smartphone addiction is a serious illness. Just with any other addiction, they take our time and focus away from what’s important. But by following some of the tips above you can reduce its impact and live a healthier life!
However, because technology plays such an important role in society, it’ll always be a constant battle. Just make sure you’re setting aside time to take a break from your smartphone or other similar devices.
Hopefully this helps and feels free to share your suggestions or experiences below!
If you are interested in even more health-related articles and information from us here at Makeup By Kili, then we have a lot to choose from.