You probably have a smartphone and are holding one right now. Regardless of age and gender, technology is overtaking our daily lives. Smartphones, tablets and computers are becoming our best friends. Without our smartphone, we feel anxious and worried. We rely on our smartphones to communicate, to take photos, to share photos and stories and to do many other things.
While having dinner, people constantly check their smartphones for emails, updates, tweets etc. Many people multitask i.e using their smartphone while doing other things. In fact, there is a new word coined for the fear of being without your phone. It is called nomophobia as in No-mo(bile) phone-phobia. It is fear or anxiety that being away from your phone somehow disconnects you from the world. Smartphone have become a crucial part of everyday life.
Smartphone addiction is not a real illness. It is actually referring to the overusing of smartphone. Some find it difficult to function without their phone by their side.
Symptoms that suggest you are overusing your smartphone:
- Feeling anxious whenever you do not have your phone in your physical possession.
- Constantly checking the phone for new texts, coupled with the compulsion to respond immediately.
- You keep thinking that your handphone is vibrating even though it isn’t
- You’re not listening to people who are talking to you because you are too busy checking your facebook page, tweets and texts.
- Your grades are deteriorating or you are failing in school..
Consequences of overusing smartphone
- For teenagers,, overuse of smartphone can alter the way they interact with one another. Human interaction helps a child or teen to develop emotionally and to shape their behaviour. Communication or interaction via smartphone will not allow a child or teen to see a person’s emotional reaction and distinguish between what are good actions and bad actions.
- Staring at a screen may prevent the brain from releasing melatonin, our natural sleep chemical. As a result, our bodies don’t register that we are tired and sleep deprived. We also will have problems with sleep.
- Overuse of smartphones causing sleep deprivation therefore means that we do not function as well throughout the day, affecting our abilities to study and work.
Tips to prevent overuse of smartphone
- Firstly, acknowledge the fact that you are unable to stay away from your smartphone.
- Do not text whilst walking.
- Be mindful. Always ask ‘why?’ and whether it is really necessary when you want to reach out to your phone.
- Add a barrier. Make it more difficult to access to your favourite apps.
- Put a distance between you and your phone. Make it difficult to keep reaching for your handphone.
- Do not check any emails or messages until you have done what you are suppose to do.
- NO texting while driving. This is for your and other people safety.
- When going to bed, do not fall asleep while staring at your screen.
- When you’re with friends, turn your phone off. Don’t put it on vibrate. OFF. Nothing bad will happen and you won’t miss out on anything. Each time you do this, it will become easier.
- Try leaving your phone at home. Spend a day without technology at your fingertips.
Smartphone is useful but moderation is the key. Do not allow the phone to rule your life.