Smartphone Unaddicted

Prior to the pandemic, it was estimated that we spent five to nine hours a day on our smartphones. That is lots of time!

Since quarantine has been implemented worldwide, we are more and more reliant on our smartphones to connect with friends and family. Personally, I noticed an increased time spent on my phone during lockdown. It is unavoidable as we do need to check on each other and stay in touch. In April 2020, Android Authority asked readers to rate their phone usage during COVID-19, an astounding 55.6% said it was way more than usual.

Heavy use of smartphones can become a serious problem when it absorbs so much of our attention and focus causing us to neglect relationships, work, school, hobbies, or other important things in life. It can also exacerbate many underlying problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Have you:

• noticed yourself ignoring family or friends to read Facebook updates and losing track of the conversations? • been compulsively checking your phone while walking, driving, sitting in a meeting and not paying attention to what’s happening around you? • had trouble completing tasks at work or home? For example, laundry piling up and little food in the house for dinner because you have been busy chatting online, texting, or playing video games? • felt you are missing out on important news or information if you don’t check your phone regularly? • been getting up at night to check your phone? • gotten irritated or cranky if your scrolling time is interrupted? • felt dread, anxiety, or panic if you leave your phone at home? • been feeling phantom vibrations where you think your phone has vibrated but when you check, there are no new messages or updates? • caught yourself favoring the phone over essential goods? There was a study conducted by the University at Buffalo, N.Y. where college students choose smartphones over food after a period of deprivation from both. Classic!

If some of the above resonate with you, it’s probably time to reassess your smartphone use and strike a healthier balance in life.