Whenever my nephew needs to figure something out, he pulls out his cell phone. He can get from problem to solution in a matter of seconds. As impressive as that would seem for a ten-year-old, I was doing that without a smartphone at the same age — not to brag. Sadly, it seems that thinking has become something you do only when you don’t have the internet close by. That thought leads us to ask, is cell phone addiction becoming normal and almost expected?
Just like any addiction, cell phone addiction can have negative consequences on your life and on those around you. It can affect your emotional, intellectual, and physical health.
Here are some ways cell phone addiction can negatively affect you and your family and some tips to fight the addiction:
Cell Phone Addiction: Changing the Learning Process
Our cell phone addiction has turned the learning process on its head. Now, instead of memorizing concepts, we just look them up. Math study apps give us our answers on demand during homework. But back in the day, we memorized the sin and cosine tables. We had to work out a solution. The test was never about if I knew whereto find the answers.
If you notice your cell phone is keeping you from learning, try putting your phone in another room while you work on a project. Sure, you can’t quickly look something up, but it will force you to think something through. You might be surprised by how much you know.
Cell Phone Addiction: Shortening Attention Spans
Even when we should be concentrating at work or in a class, we get distracted by our cell phone addiction. We are constantly getting notifications for text messages, games, weather apps, and news apps, and these notification make sure we are always looking at a small screen for a large chunk of the day. Imagine how much of what actually happens around us we miss because of this attention-fuelled gadget.
Enjoying time with family even gets overtaken with our cell phone addiction. Instead of enjoying time together playing a board game, that time has been diverted to staying up to date with social media platforms and reaching new high scores on games. We all know we’ve been to a dinner where we all end up on our smartphones. And there’s always that one person watching football or basketball on their phone giving a play-by-play, and sometimes they’re typing their play-by-play on Twitter and Facebook at the same time. Now if that isn’t a cell phone addiction, I don’t know what is.
At work, having a smartphone next to your laptop keeps the fear of missing out alive, so sometimes you pick it up, right? But if we had to count the number of working hours lost because of cell phone addiction, my bet is it amounts to millions every year.
If you notice your cell phone is getting in the way of your work or family time, try a cell phone cleanse. That means you’ll decide on a set few times each day when you can check your phone for calls or messages, but other than that, your phone is turned off. Try this for a week and watch your ability to get things done improve. A therapist can help you through your addiction and help you track your progress.
Cell Phone Addiction: Changing Communication
My niece responds to verbal communication with smiley faces. I would love to have a full conversation with her, but she’s not always so responsive. A side effect of our cell phone addiction is that we’ve stopped talking like we used to. First, we wrote letters, and then we could write emails. They were meaningful and took time to craft. Even instant messenger was a better form of communication because people would sit down and dedicate time to a conversation. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case with texting and cell phone addiction nowadays.
I’ve always been a face to face person and a message that comes from someone standing right in front of me or a message that’s physically passed across a room by being can hold more weight (both literally and figuratively) than a message sent via text. With over 3 billion text messages sent on a daily basis through WhatsApp, many people look to be losing their desire to open their mouths to say something.
If you want to improve your communication skills, try writing a letter or email every once in a while. If you can’t live without texting, try to make your text conversations more meaningful. There’s no reason why we can’t incorporate good communication into a text message.
Cell Phone Addiction: Affecting Physical Health
Kids nowadays seem to be looking for something less demanding to spend their time on. You give them the choice between playing a soccer video game on a phone and real soccer, and they want to sit inside and play the cell phone version. But I remember closing off sections of the street and turning that into our stadium. Scores of children would spend holidays sweating and learning team skills.
Very few of us were aware of obesity and a string of diseases, but now, the general health of our children is at its worst. And unless we change how we go about our lives, things are only going to get worse. Cell phone addiction can lead to physical inactivity for children that can be harmful for their physical health.
Is cell phones are getting in the way of physical health, then you might need help from someone else. Maybe a family member or a professional can help you go through your apps and help you decide which ones to delete. Getting rid of time-consuming apps can help you refocus your time and use it on something that will keep you healthy.
Cell phone addiction can cause of world of trouble. I mean, when 60% of young people have dropped their cell phone on their face, that shows they’re probably spending too much time on their phone. And when our eyes fixed on a small screen for so long, we miss out on what’s happening around us. So, if you’re addicted to your phone, you have a couple options. You can get some help from a professional, you can decide on a time of day where you put your cell phone away, or you can get rid of your cell phone (but that might not be completely realistic).