The benefits of technology and instant access to it are well documented but what about when things go too far? Research by the University of Derby found that 1 in 8 is in fact addicted to their smartphone and like any other type of addiction, this isn’t good for your body or mind. Is it time you had a tech detox?
Here are some key signs of digital addiction and the damage it can cause:
Chances are you have your tech, in the form of your smartphone, with you at all times and this makes it quite difficult to escape. The sense of what is ‘normal’ when it comes to computer usages has been skewed and evidence suggests that people are spending more and more time on computers, smartphones and tablets, with no actual real purpose to the activity. If you find yourself spending hours on social media, browsing the web or playing online games, rather than getting things done, it could be time for a tech detox.
Have you experienced the sensation of your phone ringing or vibrating when it isn’t? These phantom rings and vibrations have been described by tech specialists as the human psychological equivalent of Pavlov’s dog and are a common occurrence when you’re waiting for an important call or text or piece of news. A side effect to watch out for in these situations is frequent or compulsive checking of your phone. This is not healthy behaviour and it is advisable to leave your phone off or at least on silent and definitely keep it out of the bedroom if you want to enjoy undisturbed sleep.
Using a number of different types of media at the same time, such as using your phone whilst watching television, or gaming whilst listening to music, is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers haven’t yet found if the multitasking use is what causes the conditions, or whether it is a way for people living with anxiety and depression to distract themselves. Rather than going at everything at once it is sensible to limit yourself to one thing at a time.
This is an important one for the diet conscious amongst us: an obsession with technology and a need to be connected all the time takes us out of the real world. Our motivation for getting exercise dwindles as we crave our screens. Motivation for preparing fresh food also goes out of the window and instead we snack on quick, unhealthy junk food out of convenience.
There is no denying how valuable technology can be in boosting our healthy lifestyle but spending too much time on it and becoming reliant on it is something to be very wary of.
Wasted hours is a horrible feeling. The problem is, technology is mental downtime which I personally crave at the end of the day. It's basically addictive because it feels so relaxing and easy and just takes our brains wherever they happen to be wandering.
I have heard there is an app which counts the number of minutes/hours you spend on your phone. It might be a real eye-opener for some. It's very scary trying to bring a child up in this environment too. Hard for adults, even tougher for children!
I am resisting a smartphone for many reasons, but the chance of all this is even more off-putting. That said, 1030pm and I'm on the laptop so time to close down!