Would it surprise you to know that according to Apple, we check our phones upwards of 80 times per day? Such is our smartphone obsession that almost half of us report that we can’t live without them, while at the same time we cite our attachment to our phones as being a major cause of stress!
It’s not hard to understand why we’ve become so dependent on our devices. They are, for most of us, not just a means of communication but also a major source of news and information, web browser, music player, alarm clock, camera, fitness tracker, weather forecaster and satellite navigation system. Yet still, for all their function and utility, they are a threat to our health, relationships and productivity. Constant messages and alerts give our brains a hit of dopamine, much like sugar, alcohol and any other highly rewarding (and addictive) substance. If you need convincing, consider these negative consequences of too much screen time:
You know you have a problem if you feel a strong compulsion to check your phone multiple times every hour, even when it’s not appropriate or safe such as when you’re driving, during conversations or meetings, at the movies or during dinner. If your phone addiction is getting out of hand, it might be necessary to break the habit and ditch your device.
Try the following strategies for weaning off your smart phone before leaping into a digital detox:
Cassandra Dunn is a psychologist for TIFFXO.COM.