Have you become addicted to your phone? Do you get anxious if you haven’t checked your messages or emails in the past hour? Or are you constantly looking at your social media?
We are almost expected to be online 24/7. Being contactable and available. And we might even feel we are missing out if we are not able to respond or interact.
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On a mental and emotional level, many of us suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out). We get anxious and stressed. Checking our phones constantly negatively affects our social life as we are focusing more on our phone than the people we are actually interacting with. We are missing out on true social in-person connections and the emotional bonds we otherwise create.
This addiction also means we stay up late checking our phones, wake up early to see what we have missed. It doesn’t take a scientific study to tell us that this can’t be good for our mental and emotional health and wellbeing. However, studies in social media and addiction are numerous. And studies do confirm that internet addiction has been identified as pathological behaviour.
Digital toxicity and our body
It is not only mental and emotionally toxic. There are also direct physical consequences. The Guardian referenced a study confirming “that there is “clear evidence” that radiation from mobile phones causes cancer, specifically, a heart tissue cancer in rats that is too rare to be explained as random occurrence”.
The blue light emitted from phones and computers may also be damaging our eyes as well suppressing the production of melatonin thereby affecting our sleep.
But could we live without our phones and computers?
Possibly, but many of us rely on them as part of our work and social interaction. However, like everything else we need to find balance. Having a cake or a glass of wine once in a while is fine. Excessively it will affect our health. Same with how we consume our digital information.
Here is how to get back in balance
- There are apps that can check how much time you spend on your phone and specific apps and social networks - even give us time limits and switch them off. The newer iPhones also have screen time updates. Information is key. Once you know just how much time you spend online it is easier to reduce it.
- Having lunch with a friend or dinner with the family? Keep your phone in your bag or pocket, switch on silent or flight mode. Your friend and family deserve your full attention - just like you deserve theirs.
- Ban the phone from the bedroom. Not only will it help you sleep because you won’t get the blue light interference, but you also won’t get FOMO either and you can actually have some quality time with your partner.
- Addicted to checking your phone whilst waiting at the bus stop, on your commute or having lunch by yourself? Resist. Practise mindfulness and concentrate 100% on what you are actually doing. Allow that to become a meditation. And enjoy the view.
- Ready to go further? Delete all your social media apps from your phone limiting the use to specific times on your computer only.
Now we would like to know, what is your biggest digital toxin and addiction? And how you an idea to resist it?
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