What is Smartphone Addiction and Why Does it Matter? — TechVirtuosity

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The Problem With Addiction

Our addiction to smartphones isn’t the same as smoking or drugs, but it can still impact our health. Anything that causes addiction can steal away our focus from more important things. Things like taking care of ourselves.

How we get Smartphone Addiction

The addiction is the result of our need to check our smartphones constantly. Whether it’s for social media, emails or other messages, it’s an addiction when there is a need. But there is a difference between work need and addiction need!

Work need is mostly during office hours but if you still have a need to constantly check at home you might have an addiction. Basically, it’s that feeling that you have to check it or do something on it. Ironically, smartphones are made to cause us to feel this way!

App developers can make more money the more we use our smartphones. Having notifications or incentive to open an app can often lead to more addiction. It’s the whole ecosystem really.

Why Businesses and Developers Benefit

The more we use our smartphone the more opportunities there are for profit. Google benefits by tracking our habits because it allows them to specialize ads or suggestions. Smaller developers can also benefit in this way.

Social media is also very profitable but it only makes money when we use it. Giving away our information, clicking ads or attracting our friends to a platform can all add up too.

In general, anything you do on your smartphone will likely benefit someone in some way.

A Deeper Look at Addiction

When we see a notification on our phones we have a need to click it, which makes us feel better. Some mobile games take advantage of this by displaying flashy notifications and offers to us. But overall the entire device is used to grab our attention.

Once we have been rewarded by our brains from clicking notifications, we feel relieved. But this keeps getting worse the more often that we do it because we feel good each time. The continual rewarding of our brains causes us to need it more frequently and that’s where addiction starts.

If you had to skip using your smartphone for a day, could you? It would probably be difficult!

Balancing Between Need and Want

Wanting to check your smartphone ten times an hour isn’t necessarily a need. Think about, if you check it four times in that hour it would be checking your phone every fifteen minutes! Ten times would be every six minutes.

Realistically, we don’t need to check our smartphones that often but many people check them much more often than that. Even if it’s your job it gets to a point where you have to figure out what is too much.

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Smartphone Addiction’s Impact on Health

The mental impact is due to the addiction making us constantly need our smartphones. It may impair our driving, other focuses and even our memory. Focus and memory go together because to truly remember something accurately, it takes focus. Our smartphones are great at distracting us!

They also affect us physically. Staying up late just to text or read can impact our vision in a negative way. Most smartphones have a form of blue light that may actually be bad for our eyesight, especially in darkness. But the addiction might also cause us to skip meals or not take care of ourselves.

Lastly, it affects those around us. We are not focused on our surroundings which means we lose opportunities and reduce social interactions. This can negatively impact us mentally and physically. Social interaction is an important way for us to express ourselves.

Ways to Reduce Smartphone Addiction

You should create a time of day that is off limits from using your smartphone. This should help ease you into relaxing at night or during meal times or social interactions.

Make sure you also delete unnecessary apps that are taking away your focus. While playing a mobile game is perfectly fine, if you have to constantly check it then it’s likely going to cause an addiction. Be proactive!

It’s really as simple as that. Reducing your time on your smartphone and deleting apps or constant distractions. It might be a struggle at first but eventually it’ll get easier.

Ending the Addiction

However, because technology plays such an important role in society it’ll be a constant battle. Just make sure you’re always setting aside times that take a break. Kids are also able to get addicted, so you should keep an eye on them and yourself to ensure everyone has a healthy amount of time away from their devices.

Hopefully this helps and feel free to share your suggestions or experiences below!

Originally published at https://techvirtuosity.com on July 20, 2019.

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Brandon Santangelo

I'm a writer, blogger, technician and software developer. Writing is my passion that I do on the side. I love all things technology.