Do We Turn To Our Devices Like Alcoholics Turn To The Bottle?
At the ripe age of 10, my parents allowed me to start my journey in curating my online self. The age restriction for Facebook was 13, but rules are meant to be broken, right? Every other 10-year old I knew had it, I didn’t want to be left out!
Growing up as a shy child, nothing swooned me quite as much as being able to make friends without having to come face to face. No more worries of a stutter, or going from pale to bright red in nought to two seconds. I was instantly popular, confident, cool, and outspoken!
Fast forward 10 years and I am now the not so proud owner of multiple social media accounts. It took me over 9 years of blissful scrolling to consider what impacts it was having on my health and wellbeing.
What connected me has made me more and more disconnected.
American author, Simon Sinek, argues that millennials call upon social media and cell phones for the highly addictive numbing chemical called dopamine to help us through the high stress of adolescence. Unlike alcohol, drugs, and gambling, there are no real age restrictions on social media, and it’s free.
“It’s the equivalent of opening up our liquor cabinet and saying to teenagers, ‘hey by the way this adolescence thing, if it gets you down…’” — Simon Sinek
In a life full of uncertainty we are constantly seeking approval and instant gratification — we are encouraged to adopt impulsive and addictive habits.
Within seconds of turning on your phone, you can get a hit of dopamine and feel 100 times better about yourself. Why do you think we turn to Tinder on a Sunday hungover in bed? We can instantly see hundreds of people “falling at our feet”. It reassures us that we are wanted and loved, without having to get out of bed.
But it’s not all that bad. Like most addictions, social media is okay until you over consume or overuse it.
“There’s nothing wrong with social media, it’s the imbalance.” — Simon Sinek
I’m sure most of you are aware that you’re addicted to your phone, and you don’t need countless YouTubes and blogs shoving it in your face. However, it goes further than just acknowledging it, we must work to improve our habits and live life in the present.
It’s like walking on a knife-edge; if you’re not careful, you can fall into a deep hole of depression, loneliness, and insecurity. But if you are careful, then you can use this technology to your social, financial, and productivity gain.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your phone productivity:
1. Turn off almost all your notifications
Notifications are the biggest culprit in keeping us attached to our phones and social media. They are a constant distraction that prevents us from completing important tasks. Don’t let notifications take charge of what you do and when.
2. Put it on do not disturb!
If you’re not too keen on turning off all of your notifications then put your phone on do not disturb. This will stop your phone from lighting up, vibrating, or receive annoying notification reminders from Facebook.
The best part is, you can still allow certain contacts and notifications to still come through so that you’re not completely cut off!
3. Delete social media apps
If you still feel drawn to your social media apps then simply delete them! They will always be there on the app store to download again when necessary.
4. Change colour scheme to black and white
This will make your phone less attractive to look at to prevent you from aimless scrolling. Who wants to look at Tik Tok in black and white? I certainly don’t.
5. Leave it behind
Whether you’re just going downstairs, or out for a coffee with a friend, try and leave your phone behind. You don’t need it on you at all times, be in the present moment, and don’t worry about being accessible to anyone 24/7.
If you need it to tell the time then go and buy yourself a watch, that’s what they’re for!
Take a step back from your phone, witness the effects that it has on you, and work to improve your habits.