What made us glued to screens? Is this a bad thing, and how do you cut back? Read to find out. You probably have no idea how much time you are spending on your phone. Do you think its an hour and a half? Studies show that Indians spend anything between 2.5 to 3 hours on their phone every day. This is known as phone addiction.
When researchers installed an app that tracks they found that there was a very wide gap between the number of time people thought they use a phone and the amount of time that they actually use, their phone. The reason smartphones take up so much of our time is of course because we spend our time chatting with friends and family. Not such a bad thing, right? maybe watching a video or two as well. but the other major reason that smartphones are so addictive is that they are designed to be addictive.
Every time you get a notification on your phone from a social media app like Instagram or Facebook / WhatsApp it acts as a small hit to your brain. Shockingly this is somewhat similar to kind of hit a drug provides. That’s why we feel to check our phones compulsively. Studies also show that simply having a phone on the table while having conversation with someone actually makes the conversation with someone actually makes the conversation a lot more shallow.
The irony is that silicon’s valley’s brightest minds, who sell these phones to everyone, don’t let their own children use technology as much. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both put a cap on the amount of time their children could use ipads and phones. In fact, bill gates did not give a phone to his daughter until she was 14. Instagram, snapchat, and Facebook are important for staying in touch with friends. But they also present only a curated version of ourselves.
What this means is that everyone presents the best side on social media and this creates an unrealistic standard for people. Worryingly, they are studies that show a correlation between smartphone usage and a high number of suicides. This does not necessarily mean that the usage of smartphone causes or contributes to mental illness. But a higher smartphone can certainly be a symptom of mental illness. Communication on social media doesn’t necessarily lead to connection, says MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle.
Ask yourself now – Is time spent Instagramming as memorable as the time you spent hanging out with your friends or playing with them? Is this time you are spending on your phone eating away into the time you could have spent playing or reading or cycling? As we enter into adulthood, using smartphones may become necessary. You need to use your phones for emails, coordinating with colleagues, etc. But school time is not a time to be spent on phones. Reducing smartphone usage is pretty hard. You can start installing apps like moment or offtime which record how much time you spend on your phone.
Once you get an idea of the amount of time you spend on your phone and which app you use the most, you can devise strategies to reduce your screen time. Perhaps the next time when your friends are hanging out, you can put your phone in airplane mode. Take pictures if you want, but leave the Instagramming for later. if you’re having dinner with your family make it a rule that none should use their even your parents must not. If you find that notifications on your phone are distracting you while you are studying, it’s probably a good idea to turn off all your notifications. That will leave you in control to check your phone to some extent. there are also free apps like forest and offtime which put a restriction on which apps you can access at a certain period of time that to designate yourself.