Are you Addicted to your Smartphone? by Tom Bosna

 In Featured, Workplace Wellness

We love our smartphones. The endless uses for them make them a necessary part of everyday life, though how much time are you wasting on your phone? Unfortunately, there is a percentage of people who have developed an psychological attachment to their phones. It’s called “nomophobia”, this is short for no-mobile-phone phobia.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling of panic or desperation
  • Not being able to focus on conversations or work
  • Constantly checking phone for notifications

Smartphonejunkies

Recent research into this space suggest that an attachment to your smart phone is similar to other addictions and it involves the dysregulation of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s reward centre. In other words, it motivates people to do things they think they will be rewarded for doing. Every time you get an email through your phone, there is a little elevation in dopamine that says you might have something that’s compelling. You don’t know what the email is, who it’s from, when you’re going to get it and that’s why you have to keep checking your phone. Can you see the problem here?

Here’s what to do:

Do yourself a favor and download the app ‘Moment’ (iphones) or  ‘Menthal’ (android). These two apps calculate how much time you spend on your phone per day. It also calculates how many times you pick up or check your phone. Here is my week so far:

Tom's Smartphone Usage

How did I manage to spend 4 hours of my day using my phone? Don’t waste your life looking at the screen. If you’re having trouble sleeping, feel stressed, lacking focus, feeling pain and less motivated…quite simply…. switch off! Buy an old school alarm clock and party like it’s 1999. Smartphone’s aren’t that smart after all.

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