We all love our smartphones. No doubt. But like any relationship, it’s complicated. We have an emotional attachment to our smartphones. We feel lost without them. Like a baby with a pacifier, it’s become an extension of ourselves that we don’t want to give up.
Dopamine. The manufacturers of smartphones are no idiots. They’ve designed them to lure us in and keep us keen. All those colours, lights and satisfying noises on apps are experienced as mini rewards. Our brain then releases the feel-good chemical dopamine – the same process involved in addiction – so it’s a no brainer that we’re going back for more!
FOMO. How often do you check your phone? If you’re like most people, it will average 46 times a day. Nothing wrong with that, except a lot of the time it’s not necessary. You may be suffering from FOMO, a big driving force in phone overuse.
But phone use doesn’t necessarily equate with productivity, opportunity and success. Look at high profile examples like Michelle Obama and Richard Branson. They’ve both taken a step back from the digital world without losing out!
Ditching your smartphone might sound daunting, but the rewards are there.
You will sleep better. The blue light won’t keep you awake and mess with your melatonin.
Your concentration may improve as you don’t feel compelled to respond to your phone lighting up.
Your health may improve as you spend more time moving, not sitting.
You will have a better relationship with technology overall as you only use them when they are helpful.
You will boost productivity as you focus on the task at hand instead of frequently switching tasks (snapchat, email, instagram etc)
Admit it, you fritter away precious time on your phone. What if you spend the time you saved on a new hobby, reconnecting with people, taking time out for yourself, reading more and exercising more?
Brave enough? Switch off now!
Can’t face cold turkey? Try the gradual approach instead:
Start by deactivating notifications and switching your screen to black and white. Shut off your phone at mealtimes, this will help your brain relax and recharge. Then switch off after your meal. Then try a whole day off!
I must admit I looked at how many times I checked my phone after a whole day and it was a whopping 74 times! It definitely made me want to cut back and I started by resisting the urge to check email and waiting it out until the next 'urge'. .It went down to in the 40s straight away.
46 times a day? Scary! I really need to work on this as I suspect I'm guilty of that. I don't want to turn into a ridiculous phone zombie!
I didn't know you could change to black and white so that's something I'm definitely doing. it's a daunting thought to just switch off completely though, but it's tempting sometimes when I feel the 'pull'. .