The Epidemic of Phone Addiction

Jordan Mendiola

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

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Many of us love using our devices. Heck, I’m on my phone almost all the time. It wasn’t until I lost one of my Airpods that I stopped walking everywhere plugged in. From unplugging and leaving my phone behind gave me anxiety at first.

I felt as though I didn’t have my electronics to protect me in case boredom struck or I missed a text. Devices have the power to spawn forms of anxiety. We don’t have to let them control us.

By relying less on my music and my cell phone to be on me at all times, I’ve been set free. I tried a thirty-day challenge to go out to dinner and socialize with people without bringing my phone with me.

The results were staggering. I realized how little purpose my phone served me in the fifteen to thirty minutes I’d be without it.

Like many people, I developed a dependency on my electronics. Here are some reasons why we don’t always have to “connected.”

Less Dopamine Rush Makes Life More Enjoyable

When we get notifications, likes, Snapchats, or any other form of engagement from our phones, we experience a dopamine rush. It’s unhealthy to release too much dopamine because we can reach a point of numbness to even the most exciting things.

Justin Bieber recently explained how touring since he was 16 years old on his My World Tour. He performed a total of 126 shows throughout the entire world. He said that his dopamine levels became extremely low, and he was growing ill from it. The constant attention and craziness of his successful career never really gave him a break from stardom.

Due to the dopamine spike, Justin had to take time off from creating music and touring. After he returned, he was much a much better person. Bieber’s restored his creativity and the overall feeling of normalcy.

If we’re walking around with our phones — refreshing our notifications and seeing how many likes or Snapchat we’ve gotten in the past five minutes, we submit into our phones dictating our happiness.

You Worry Less

When there’s nothing buzzing in your pocket and ringing off every minute or so, we have a peace of mind. Most people keep their notifications for every app they have turned on.

We can combat constant bum-rushes of beeps and buzzes by limiting our notifications to calls and texts only.

I’ve lessened the number of notifications I receive for nearly a year, and I’m a much happier person for it.

My phone no longer bothers me when someone sent me a Snapchat of their ceiling fan that does not affect me at all.

You Feel a Sense of Control

When I feel like pulling up Instagram, I’ll do it. When I do get on, I’ll be the most active user because I have intention.

I will respond to comments, give comments, and tag my friends with purpose.

All productive, useful actions that make it worth my time. If you try to lessen your phone usage and do so with the intention, you’ll be much happier in my experience.

No longer is your phone dictating the way you go about your day. Leaving it inside no longer stresses you out. When you are ready, you’ll get to it.

“Intention flows where energy goes.”

You’ll Become More Observant & Present

After unwinding from the amount of time I take my phone with me, I’ve noticed more things. When the music isn’t pounding my eardrums, and I live in the moment, I feel better.

I’m not a parent yet, and I won’t be ready to be one for at least a few more years. So why would I want to refer back to my phone repeatedly throughout the day if the reasons are so minuscule? A phone is like having a child that needs his diaper changed, needs to be fed, and constant attention.

We can be part-time parents in this sense. When you need a break from it, drop it off at the babysitter and leave it without worrying. Everything will be fine.

The days and nights will be more eventful as long as we put our phones down and live in the moment. When it’s time to unwind or check in on notifications, have a ball. The times we use our devices with intention will spark more joy and creativity because there will be more distraction-free moments.

When you spend too much time with someone, things can get stale fast. Using your phone is like getting a girlfriend. You want to give her intentions and go on fun dates. But it’s better to go with plans and purposes.

Let’s not bother our dates by continually clicking on them and bombarding them with taps on their face. It gets annoying. I know I’m personifying a phone like its an actual being because, in many ways, it is!

We can all live happier without phone dependency and get your lives back. Just drop it off at daycare every once in a while!

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email: mendiola1829@gmail.com

Chicago, IL
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