You think it’s silly, how can checking messages or the news be termed an ‘addiction’. And yet, that’s how it starts, until you can’t sit peacefully through a family meal without needing to ‘quickly check on something’ on your smartphone. Still think it’s silly?
When you enter a new place, how far up your list of priorities is getting your hands on the Wi-Fi password? We guess pretty high. Nowadays, it’s become standard for friends or business establishments to offer their Wi-Fi password as soon as you walk in the door. We are a generation that hates being out of reach. The internet and the tempting world of social media are generally never more than a click away; just the way we like it. We are obsessive about staying connected but is this obsession healthy? Perhaps not. For some, it surpasses normal behaviour and becomes disruptive. This is when you may have to confront the uncomfortable truth: you are addicted to your smartphone.
Did you know that 80 per cent of smartphone users will check their phone before brushing their teeth in the morning? For many of us, it is quite literally the first thing that we do upon waking. The fact that we are all so reluctant to tear ourselves away from our phones has even become a feature of our own self-deprecating humour. We laugh about the fact that we continuously check our social media streams.
Now there even exists a popular game, played amongst friends, which encourages you to stay away from your phone during dinner. The rules state that all people at the table must surrender their phones which are then placed in the centre of the table. You are then not allowed to touch it for the duration of the dinner. Anyone who fails and can’t resist the lure of their smartphone has to pay the bill.
However, is it really any wonder that we are all so closely linked to our mobile devices? Our whole lives are on them! Smartphones house appointment calendars, our emails, our texts and access to the unbridled streams of information offered by the internet. They are genius devices!
How many of us read the daily newspapers anymore? By this, we don’t mean just reading the news. We mean reading the physical newspaper. We’d wager not many. Now, to remain competitive many of the leading news establishments have had to integrate with popular social media platforms. You’ll now find the top outlets sharing breaking news stories on everything from Facebook to Snapchat. These stories can be based on anything, from political movements to radical legislation changes. In fact, for many of us, we only find out what is going on in the world by checking the latest Twitter trends.
Unfortunately, though, there is a point where interaction with technology veers too far and delves into the realm of addiction. For some, checking a smartphone becomes the primary focus of their life. It supersedes all other processes. When this becomes disruptive, it can be categorised as an addiction. Addiction treatment centres such as LuxuryBeachRehab are experts at helping people to take back control of their lives. And make no mistake, this is a growing problem with 72 per cent of people admitting that they are never more than five feet away from their phone. So, whilst we frequently joke about the fact that smartphones play a huge part in our daily lives, the real threat of addiction is very rarely considered in a serious way.
If you believe that you may be addicted to your smartphone or technology in general, don’t sweep it under the carpet. Yes, technology is all around us, making it easy to fall into the trap. But if you begin to feel that it’s starting to affect your daily life, then you should take action. There are places that you can go to learn to live without the iron fist of technology dictating your every move. We should all aim to limit our time on these useful but dangerously tempting devices. Will you make the necessary change?