How many of us wake up and immediately check our smart phones, and then make it the last thing they see before they go to sleep? Far too many, according to studies, which have also shown that one in three adults even check their phone during the night.
The UK has never been more addicted to smartphones and it’s affecting every aspect of life – with many people claiming their mobile phone is an issue in their relationship.
The thing is, how much time do you spend absent-mindedly scrolling through social feeds, without taking any real enjoyment or value from it?
What other effects do phones have on our mental and physical health? And how can you break the cycle? We look at the issues here and some potential solutions.
Smartphone addiction is a psychological dependency on your device. Alongside this there’s nomophobia – a fear of having no connection. Both are common problems in the modern world.
Did you know that with every notification you have a potential to feel a dopamine influx? It’s no wonder that smartphone addiction is a real issue. (Dopamine is related to feelings of euphoria and bliss!)
Your mobile phone is an instant gateway to social media. Social media is full of photoshopped pictures and unrealistic situations – this sets an unachievable social standard.
If you look at the most-followed celebrities, they are always wearing expensive clothes on “perfect” bodies. The 24-hour accessibility to these images can warp your body image and influence you to make unnecessary comparisons.
Depression and anxiety:
Smartphones provide unrealistic expectations of friendships. On the surface, social media appears to connect us with others but there is a common link between social media and loneliness.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of expecting constant interaction and updates from your friends and then worry when this isn’t received. The expectations from friends and unnecessary comparisons can lead to body issues, anxiety and depression.
Technology disturbs your ability to fall asleep. Smartphones use a blue light – your body associates this with daylight, making it difficult to switch off.
As most people use smartphones as an alarm clock, this usually means your phone is always within reach. This can tempt you to check social media sites throughout the night.
How can you break a smartphone addiction?
- You can improve your sleep by not looking at a screen for at least an hour before bed.
- Leave your phone at home when you exercise – you really don’t need to share your session on social media. It still counts!
- Create rules at home for when phones are barred -= such as at the dinner table. This forces everyone to communicate normally and creates a whole, regular period without the phone.
- Go back to using an ‘old-school’ alarm clock and leave your phone charging away from your bed. Try reading a book before you go to sleep instead.
- You shouldn’t use your phone if you’re driving, but if you’re a passenger pop your phone in the glove box for a journey!
- Turn notifications off! If you don’t see the light flash up then you’ll be less tempted to look at your phone!
- Say goodbye to social media apps, if you find yourself feeling negative toward certain apps – it’s simple DELETE.
If you want a chance to detox from your phone and focus on your physical and mental wellbeing, book a bootcamp.
Northern Bootcamp is a weight-loss and wellbeing bootcamp full of adventure and fun. You’ll learn about nutrition, exercise and lose weight in the beautiful location of Bamburgh!