Smartphone addiction is a danger that we all run. We often have a relationship of clear dependence on technology, but we do not realize it.
One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the significant increase in the internet and technological devices’ consumption. At the same time, the age of initiation of users has also dropped palpably. More and more children are starting to surf the net, open social media profiles, play online and have their first phone.
The Internet is a fabulous tool that helps us study, work, socialize, communicate and entertain ourselves. But going from use to abuse of technology and even Smartphone addiction is easy. The lines are very thin, and many times it is a process that we hardly notice.
Smartphone addiction ” is not yet included in any diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, and not even the World Health Organization (WHO) names it as such.” However, many users suffer from it to some extent.
The Release Of Dopamine
Smartphone addiction, in general, has a clear pattern: the loss of control overconsumption. Also, at that point, two phenomena usually occur. On the one hand, the addict has to increase the time spent with the technologies to achieve the same effects. On the other hand, there is the so-called ‘ withdrawal syndrome,’ which gives rise to a feeling of displeasure when the activity (or the connection in this case) ceases or is interrupted. These are realities that many parents of children ‘bewitched’ by video games, unfortunately, have to deal with.
As in other addictions, in technology, there is a molecular and physiological process. It consists of the release of dopamine, the so-called pleasure hormone. The human being, in general, runs away from pain and seeks pleasure.
How to know that we suffer from Smartphone addiction?
The signs that should alert us that our relationship with the smartphone is not healthy. Some smartphone addiction signs are:
- The mobile, always close. You are not calm if your mobile is not just another ‘extension’ of your body. Even sleeping, we need to keep him close. If we do not have it within reach, there is unease, and we feel the need to run to look for it.
- Check the mobile compulsively. Another signal that should alert us is that we need to continuously check our smartphones to see any messages or updates on social networks. This is done even without receiving any notification.
- Suffer FOMO (fear of missing something). It is about feeling the urge to have to look at your mobile for fear of missing something. For many, missing some news, comment on networks, or a conversation produces frustration.
- Complaints from the family environment and friends. One of the circumstances that suggest that you may be suffering from techno-stress occurs when friends and family constantly complain that they are not being cared for or that one is always with a mobile phone in hand.
- “I don’t have time to do what I used to like.” The prolonged and abusive use of the mobile makes us have the permanent feeling that we don’t have time. Besides, that is why we have been forced to abandon hobbies or activities that we previously enjoyed.
- Mobile off equals anxiety. Having the mobile turned off causes anxiety and nervousness … You are not calm, making you feel insecure.
- “I have no battery! Horror!”. One of the warning signs is that you experience discomfort, annoyance, and even anguish if you do not have a charged battery or no data signal or do not have a Wi-Fi connection.
- ‘Prontomania.’ It means answering at the moment. The person who suffers from techno-stress feels that they have to immediately answer any notification they receive, be it from WhatsApp, email, or social networks.
Major Symptom Of Smartphone addiction Is Body Pain
The consequences of the techno-stress generated by this abuse of the smartphone and other devices are very varied. On a social level, people isolate themselves, are dissatisfied, or lose interest in friends or family. Not to mention pictures of anxiety and irritability. It manifests itself through general tiredness, lack of concentration, memory loss, and low productivity in studies or work on a mental level.
There are also physical ailments of Smartphone addiction, such as headaches and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, eye fatigue, itchy and stinging eyes. At this moment is when the person is more aware that something is wrong since their body is giving them real signs of pain.
Adolescents and young people are the groups most vulnerable to techno-stress and hyperconnection. They are in an evolutionary stage of changes, definitions, contradictions, the search for identity, and experimentation. And the network is fantastic for all this.
Our Advice on Your Smartphone addiction
Don’t have a denial attitude and avoid blackmailing or punishing with the mobile, the tablet, or the PlayStation. In his opinion, it is necessary to become aware and analyze the situation to begin to remedy techno-stress and, in general, the abuse that we make of technology.
On a practical level and to overcome mobile or internet addiction, do a small audit on connection time. And then establish some measures, such as marking schedules. The smartphones with Android or iOS, for example, tell us how much we spend time with each application. Another tip would be to look for moments of rest in which we activate the airplane mode or cancel the notifications.
It is also advisable to clean networks to only stay with those that contribute the most to prevent Smartphone addiction. Of course, doing a lot of sports and physical exercise and maintaining social relationships (beyond those that come through the networks).
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