I’d rather be addicted to this than addicted to a phone. But sadly I’m showing the signs.
What are the symptoms of phone addiction? Read:
- Using your cell phone for longer than initially intended
- Spending a great deal of time using and recovering from excess cell phone use
- Inability to cut down or control cell phone use despite trying to do so
- Urges or “cravings” to be on your cell phone
- Using your cell phone in situations that make it physically hazardous, such as texting while driving
- Continued cell phone use despite adverse physical or psychological consequences of use
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using your cell phones, such as restlessness, anxiety, and anger
- Feelings of panic or anxiety about losing your cell phone
- Feelings of irritability, anxiety, stress, and other mood changes when unable to respond to or receive messages
- Checking your cell phone obsessively for emails, calls, and texts
- Using your cell phone in inappropriate places like church or the restroom
- Missing out on social opportunities and face-to-face interactions so you can use your cell phone
- Loss of interest in favorite or long-held hobbies and activities
- Frequent and constant checking of a phone within very brief periods of time
- Using your cell phone frequently to achieve satisfaction and relaxation, or to counteract negative moods
- Thinking you may have heard your cell phone ring or felt it vibrate when it hasn’t
I carry my phone everywhere, check it too often, use it to cope with boredom, and fall down too many rabbit holes. It’s my camera, my radio, my encyclopedia, my news source, and my direct line to friends (and strangers).
Here’s a few fun stats:
– The typical cell phone user touches his or her phone 2,617 times every day. 2,617 times!
– Most people, on average, spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones each day.
– Half of all phone pickups happen within 3 minutes of a previous one.Joshua Becker, Seven Proven Ways to Break Your Cell Phone Addiction
I was reading John Mark Comer’s book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and he mentioned in passing that setting your phone to grayscale could help you break the addictive habit of checking it impulsively, so I’ve given it a run. This Wired article tells you how to do it.
I also deleted Instagram from my phone after installing it shortly after the start of the pandemic, and I’ve kept to my rule of having no more than one screen with which to interact (no swiping). My main application use is for listening to podcasts, tracking nutrition, staying disciplined with fasting, and for phone and text. I haven’t had an email app on my phone in years. I keep notifications off. That decision made me a happier person. Most of the time my phone is in “do not disturb” mode.
So much of life is being present, aware, and focused. Cell phones are energy-takers. Social media applications are designed to consume more and more of your time. And most of what I can do on a phone I can do on my browser, at a computer, when I sit down to work.
Thus far, the change is working. But I still have more paring down to do. The goal is a simpler life. Less stress. More room for the expansiveness of thought, creativity, and soul.