Hooked On Your Phone?

“That phone in your pocket is like a slot machine. Every time you check it, you’re pulling the lever to see if you get a reward.” I think we can all relate to this. Phones these days seem to be almost essential to our everyday lives. I personally am always checking email, using social media accounts or completing a quick “text back” on my phone. 60 minutes just released an article about teenagers being hooked on their smartphone, and how it is their drug of choice. They reveal that Silicon Valley programmers are engineering our phone and its apps to make you check them more and more. These apps, such as Snapchat and Instagram, have a point system that keep us coming back. I am guilty of this. I’ll send a snap chat and I notice myself checking my phone every so often until I get a response. Psychologist, Larry Rosen, informs us that technology really does have an effect on our anxiety levels. I understand it can be difficult, but time away from your phone is critical to your well being.

The article provides us with a short, three-minute video interviewing two teenagers who have serious problems with smartphone usage. Cooper and Campanile went to Paradigm Malibu, which is a treatment center for emotional and substance abuse issues. The first thing that happens at Paradigm is that they take the phone away from them. One teenager shares with us that she didn’t know what to do with her hands the first few days without her phone. They end up experiencing life in a whole new way. Time without your phone gives you the opportunity to have self-reflection. You begin to start noticing things you wouldn’t have before.

I personally can relate to this. A few months ago, my cell phone was broken and I wasn’t going to get a new one for four-five days. To be completely honest, at first, I was really upset. I had low-grade anxiety at the thought of not having my phone for almost a week. Those four to five days ended up being truly amazing. Without a phone, I was unable to scroll through social media, which consisted of me getting to bed at an earlier time. Along with that, I was extremely productive throughout those days. I also found myself having conversations with people while running errands, and that probably wouldn’t have happened if I had a phone in my hand.

These devices are powerful. How can we find a better balance with our smartphones? The article mentions that we all need to realize that your phone may not love you as much as you love your phone. I suggest to you all, take some time away from your phone. Enjoy your own thoughts, some self-reflection and break the habit of constantly checking your phone. Read more about this at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hooked-on-phones/