“We’ve built up this layer of anxiety surrounding our use of technology, that if we don’t check in as often as we think we should, we’re missing out.” - Larry Rosen, psychology professor and author of The Distracted Mind
Here’s a sobering statistic: Americans check their phones an average of 344 times per day, according to a recent report by Reviews.org. They also found most individuals haven’t gone more than 24 hours without their phone, and 47% of those surveyed felt addicted.
The study, published in January 2022, comes on the back of an earlier study featured in the New York Times, which noted that the addiction to smartphones seemed to fall into the “three C’s” that many clinicians and professionals use to diagnose individuals.
Control, Compulsion, and Consequences define how difficult it is for an individual to choose—or be overwhelmed by behavior that they seem helpless to say no to—and cell phone addiction, at least according to Dr. Anna Lembke, an addiction expert and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, fits the bill. Speaking to the Times about addiction and its many effects on the human brain and body, Dr. Lembke said that technology is an underlying stressor to many of the diagnoses she sees in her practice—making treating technological addictions even harder.
Addiction Center outlines that an addiction to a phone or device can lead to a sleep deficit, lower concentration, aggravated ADD, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and impaired relationships. HelpGuide stated that even when individuals see they have an addiction to a device, withdrawal symptoms can hinder treatment. They found that smartphone withdrawal could include restlessness, anger and irritability, sleep problems, and more.
Ready to address your cell phone addiction? A 2018 piece featured on CNBC suggested individuals take mindful actions to turn off and tune out cell phone notifications. They suggested,
Don’t let your phone be the last thing you see at night and the first thing you check in the morning. By using a regular alarm clock and charging your phone out of reach, you won’t be tempted to start your day by getting vortexed into an avalanche of messages and updates. (CNBC)
Don’t let a phone or screen affect your mood, health, and brain. Taking meaningful breaks each day can help you elevate your mind, body, and soul.