Are You Addicted to Your Gadgets? The Truth About Your Use of Modern Devices
It’s too often that people spend the majority of their time on smart devices ranging from tablets to smartphones, and for good reason. As the world becomes more technologically advanced, we also become more reliant on said technologies. From regularly checking your work email on your smartphone at home to playing games to get rid of some everyday stress, gadgets seem to be something we turn to on a regular basis.
With that being said, there are plenty of people who see smartphones, tablets, handheld game consoles, etc. to be a good thing, whereas others see them as something we’re all addicted to. At the end of the day, the only way to determine whether you’re truly addicted to your gadgets or not is to consider your everyday behaviors.
What is the Definition of Addiction?
When it comes to understanding addiction, it seems to be that nearly everyone has a different definition that applies to their lives in various ways. The main thing to remember is that although you may enjoy using your device, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are addicted.
An individual with an addiction is someone who engages in an act or uses a substance or item to the point where it begins to interfere with their regular life.
This may lead you to think, “If I use my phone at dinner instead of talking to family, am I addicted?” Or, “I can’t fall asleep at night until I check all of my notifications, am I addicted?” The only thing to answer is, can you go about your daily business without touching your phone?
Everyone is Doing it
It’s easy to be swept away in the idea of everyone else using their phone and so why shouldn’t you? The truth is, everyone else may live a life where their phone is a necessity but following the trend of being glued to your device isn’t healthy and it certainly isn’t getting you anywhere.
Just because your group of friends are all showing each other funny videos and pictures at the bar doesn’t mean that you should as well. This is particularly true if you find yourself thinking about just how great it would be if everyone could take in the sights and talk to each other instead of using their devices as a method of communication.
Sure, everyone may be using their phones but there was certainly a point in time where phones were nonexistent and face-to-face conversations weren’t obsolete.
What Gadget Addiction Looks Like
To thoroughly consider whether you’re dealing with a gadget addiction, you might be showing some of these common signs:
- Issues with making decisions or problems with remembering important topics
- Inability to concentrate or focus on current tasks
- Neck aches, back aches, headaches, and problems with eyesight
- Communication disorders, signs of anxiety and heightened stress
If you’re the type of person who enjoys using their device more than taking in the world around them, you’ve undoubtedly dealt with some or all signs of gadget addiction. It’s incredibly noticeable in current and upcoming generations, especially when you look at communication disorders and heightened stress and anxiety.
Tips for Curbing a Device Addiction
Now that you’ve either successfully or unsuccessfully diagnosed yourself with a device addiction, it’s time to think about what you can do to stop it. It seems simple enough, and it can be with the right motivation, though plenty of people may find it relatively impossible to curb their addiction and focus on the real world.
Tip 1: Think of Conversation Topics
It’s easy to get into a social situation and to pull out your phone to get an idea of what to talk about. In all honesty, we’re all guilty of quickly scrolling through the news or our social media pages and saying to the person next to us, “Wow, did you hear about this?”
Instead of relying on your device to help you get through a conversation, why not think of topics on your own? Even if the person next to you is checking their apps for the latest things happening in the world, develop ways to engage in conversation without the use of electronics. For example, if someone says something about a current news story, tell them your personal opinion about it in an effort to keep the conversation going.
Tip 2: Set Times to Use Your Device
There’s absolutely no reason as to why you should be on your phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even the world’s top CEOs don’t use their devices every second of the day to answer company emails and questions from employees. Your best bet is to set specific times where you can use your device. This will give you the opportunity to focus more on your surroundings.
A great choice would be to check your phone first thing in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. You can also consider only using your gadgets when you’re on the bus or on a long road trip.
Tip 3: Switch from a Smartphone to a Traditional Cell Phone
No matter how frightening it may seem, you don’t need to rely on a smartphone for your everyday needs. Yes, the world is changing, but it hasn’t changed so much to where you absolutely need a smartphone. There are plenty of people that get around just fine with the use of a traditional cell phone. We’re not saying you have to go back to the 90s and early 2000s and rely on payphones in the event of an emergency, but having a device allocated for emergencies only is what will truly help you to kick any gadget addictions.
As something that can severely negatively affect your everyday life, it’s best to take steps to prevent yourself from getting addicted to your gadgets before it becomes a bigger problem. Humans are designed to appreciate face-to-face interactions and the world around them, not the world as it’s shown through a 2-inch screen!