Consider How You Use The Phone

 
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The Lowdown

Smartphone technology is here to stay and it’s designed to keep us hooked. Whilst many of its features are very useful there are also some dangers in misusing the smartphone. Bringing awareness to how you use that little gadget that has become an extension of ourselves is key to our mental health and well-being. The impacts of mindlessly using the smartphone are countless, these are just a few:

  • Mental health: Being constantly connected takes a toll, it means we’re 24 hrs available to the world, forgetting about ourselves. There are plenty of studies that show how phone misuse (particularly amongst teens) can end up in addiction, nomophobia (you can test yourself), depression and suicidal thoughts. Being able to disconnect is key.

  • Physical health: Being glued to the screen means we exercise less (leading to obesity and health problems) and impacts our sleeping patterns (again, teenagers are at a higher risk of sleep deprivation).

  • Attention and productivity: When we are constantly distracted and interrupted by alarms, notifications and random messages, we become less attentive and less productive.

  • Social relationships: Whilst social media can give a sense of inter-connectivity, most of those relationships are not meaningful and can lead to more anxiety. Smartphones also impact our ability to stay present with our loved ones as we’re constantly interrupted by beeps and tacky ringtones.

Interestingly, employees and chief executives of tech giants like eBay, Google, Apple or Yahoo in Silicon Valley are sending their kids to tech free schools. Mind-boggling.

Why is it good?

By noticing how you’re using your phone you will be able to maximise its positive features and improve your physical and mental health. You’ll be more in control, your relationships will improve and you’ll be able to fully enjoy the wonders of the present life.

Some ideas

These are some ideas to help you bring some awareness to how you’re using your phone:

  • When reaching for the phone ask yourself: Why am I reaching for the phone? If there isn’t a compelling reason and you’re doing it out of habit. Don’t touch it!

  • Track how much you’re using your phone. Ironically, there are some apps that can help. For kids and teens too.

  • If you catch yourself checking out random stuff, ask yourself: Is this the best way to use my time now?

  • Get informed: read studies about the impact of technology on our lives.

  • If you have kids, well… Good luck!

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Extra Brownie Points

Throw the phone out of the window and refrain yourself from jumping after it.

That’s it! Disconnect!

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See you next week!

 
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