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Medical Magazine

[September 2019] Overcoming Smartphone Addiction
Date 09-04-2019 13:33 Hit480
Overcoming Smartphone Addiction


More and more people—and, troublingly, more young children—are becoming smartphone addicts. The amount of time we spend interacting with our beloved face-to-face continues to decrease as we spend more and more time chained to our smartphones. How can we put an end to this smartphone addiction that has become so common in our daily lives?






Write down your usage patterns.


We reach for, and use, smartphones habitually and unthinkingly. We bring our phones with us everywhere—to the bathroom, while sitting in front of the TV, or even while walking down the streets. It is important to identify the specific patterns of how you use your smartphone. Record how many hours a day you spend on it, how many times you open it, and what kinds of apps you use most frequently. You can download smartphone apps to help you with identifying and recording your smartphone use patterns. You will be surprised by how dependent you are on your smartphone. It’s much more than you think!






Understand the reasons for going off smartphones.


We can fight and defeat addictions only when we confront the right reasons for quitting them. Trying to quit an addiction without explaining to ourselves and our beloved why we must do so will persuade no one.
(1) Digital addiction exerts similar effects on the human brain as drug addiction. It increases the release of hormones related to pleasures, such as dopamine and adrenaline, while compromising the ability to focus and remember. Digital addiction has also been associated with the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It makes what is known as “popcorn brain,” where the brain requires stronger and stronger stimuli to invoke a reaction, while at the same time it fails to respond to routine and ordinary stimuli.
(2) Smartphone addiction invites a host of physical health problems. These include forward head posture (FHP), cervical disk herniation, carpal tunnel syndrome, and decline in vision. These physical ailments are becoming more prevalent in society. It is nearly impossible to restore the body to its original and healthy state once it has been damaged.
(3) Look up YouTube videos on problems generated by smartphone addiction. Watching people get into major accidents while using smartphones on the road or in restaurants, for example, will make you swear off using smartphones in open public spaces.







Adhere to the seven basic rules of smartphone use.


(1) Do not use smartphones late at night, past 9 p.m., and at least for a whole day during the week. When not in use, your smartphone should be kept as far from your eyes and hands as possible.
(2) Turn the push alarm features of the apps off. Don’t let any apps, including instant messengers, social media, and games distract you.
(3) Avoid using smartphones when you are spending time with your family and friends. Focus on the real people who make your life worthwhile, not the virtual people on your screen.
(4) Use a simple image for your wallpaper. Remove app shortcuts and widgets. The wallpaper should be monotone, either black or white. Such visual change may lessen stimulation.
(5) Switch to an old-fashioned alarm clock instead of relying on your smartphone to wake you up. This is important to quit the habit of starting your days with your smartphone.
(6) If you are a parent, and you are worried about your child’s smartphone addiction, the first and foremost thing you should do is to set an example of abiding by these rules yourself.
(7) Find a hobby to replace your smartphone. Examples include reading, sports, walking, and traveling.