Smartphone addiction: Part 1

Smartphone usage dangers if you are a depressed person

The concern for psychologists is the research indicating more and more that smartphone users who struggle with their mental health are more likely to exceedingly use their smartphone as a form of therapy. They are also tending to escape their emotional state and are less careful in smartphone usage and time spent and thus more likely they are to be addicted to their phones.
• The predisposition for addiction is because people who experience problems in their lives such as stress, anxiety, depression, family problems, are in the time they are emotionally unstable may seek relief in very excessive smartphone use.
• Challenge starts when they use smartphones in a specific passive way spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, browsing , other peoples’ photos, comments of other peoples, and posts, and not posting anything of their own and not engaging in discussion.
• “Technoference” is a term referring to the everyday intrusions and interruptions that people experience due to mobile phones and their usage. Technoference researchers discovered a significant increase in people blaming their devices for “losing sleep, becoming less productive, taking more risks while driving and even getting more aches and pains.”
• Techoference impact would obviously aggravate symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and related emotional challenges.
• The chemical reaction of the brain when using a smartphone is the same as cocaine: we get every time the screen lights up with an immediate new notification. It’s all thanks to dopamine which is the feel-good chemical that gets released every time you do something you enjoy. Dopamine reinforces and creates the repeating craving to experience the same feeling leading to behaviour that makes us feel good which in turn is how an addiction neuropath is laid.
It is therefore imperative that Psychologists include acceptable smartphone usage as an integral part of their therapy for the above mentioned patients. There is no sense in treating one problem which in turn could lead to more serious addictions.
Try the following digital detoxication tips.

  1. Be aware of the emotional state you are in when you use your phone
    • Don’t just go into autopilot, but consider why you pick up your smartphone:
    • Is it perhaps just a need to avoid a sense of boredom
    • Are you avoiding difficult emotions and busy to escape reality
    • Do you experience a feeling of being left out?
    • Do certain actions, like checking your email or social media, make you feel better or worse?
    • Awareness would assist you in preventing you to go into autopilot.
  2. Schedule your time to avoid smartphone addiction
    • Limit how many times you check your phone to once every 30 minutes schedule
    • Blocked out to times you use certain websites or apps
    • Do not use phones during meal time.
  3. Use your smartphone settings or one of the many apps available to increase your awareness of your data usage
    • Realizing exactly how much and for what you use data informing you how to use your smartphone
    • Try to use apps reporting overuse or enable you to set limits on data to be used.
  4. Recharge your phone in another room.
    Perhaps limiting your phone use during the day sounds too impractical. When charging your smartphone in a different room is a way to reconnect with body, mind, and self and not be in constant state of overstimulation of the mind. When you charge your smartphone in the room where you sleep you are subconsciously “awake” and “aware” of the smartphone being charged you do not really get to full REM sleep.