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Get Over Your Smartphone Addiction

Get Over Your Smartphone Addiction

    At dinner with a friend last weekend, we lamented our husband’s incessant use of smartphones while “spending time” with our children. It turns out we are not alone. Smartphones are not just for work. They are for everything, all the time.

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    A Documented Phenomenon

    According to a recent study by the UK-based Ofcoms, smartphone addiction is reaching epidemic proportions.  When asked about the use of their smartphone devices, 37 percent of adult participants admitted they were highly addicted to their devices.

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    Over half of adult respondents claimed they have used their smartphones will socializing with others, nearly a quarter have used them during mealtimes, and over a fifth used them while in the bathroom.

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    Another study originally published in the Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing concurred that smartphones are taking over some people’s lives. The researchers identified what they call a “checking habit” – when you repetitively look at your device for 30 seconds or less and access a single application. Apparently, this is a habitual response to boredom, and/or the need for constant distraction. It is easy to see how an out-of-control checking habit could result in negative consequences ranging from a traffic accident to a strained relationship with a family member.

    And How Does That Make You Feel?

    David Greenfield, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the author of Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them (non-affiliate link).  In Susan Davis’ article for WebMD,Greenfield is quoted as saying that computer technologies can be addictive because they’re psychoactive, alter mood, and often trigger enjoyable feelings. E-mail in particular gives us satisfaction due to variable ratio reinforcement, meaning that we never know when we’ll get a great e-mail, so we keep checking over and over again.

    So how do you avoid becoming a slave to your smartphone without throwing the baby out with the bathwater?  Here, some tips:

    • Don’t buy the Lexus of phones: There is no need to purchase the most feature-rich, complex device on the market just because it’s available. Select a phone that meets your needs and ignore the bells and whistles that will only serve to confuse you.
    •  Don’t go app crazy: The more apps, the slower your phone works, and the faster it runs out of battery. Constantly buzzing and beeping apps can also be distracting. The truth is, most people only use between 5-10 apps regularly. So stop the downloading madness.
    •  Leave the phone in another room: If you constantly have the urge to check your smartphone, leave it in another room so that you aren’t tempted to pick it up. This is especially useful if you have set aside time to do something away from your phone, like finish a report or play a game with your family.
    •  If you’re talking to someone, don’t answer it: Unless you are expecting an urgent call, do not allow your phone to interrupt an in-person conversation.  Sneaking peeks at your phone or typing away on it while someone is trying to command your attention will negatively impact your relationships and productivity.
    (Photo credit: young businessman playing with his cell from Shutterstock)
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    Last Updated on September 12, 2019

    12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

    12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

    Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

    While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

    What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

    Here are 12 things to remember:

    1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

    The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

    However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

    We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

    Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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    2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

    You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

    Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

    Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

    3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

    Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

    Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

    4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

    Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

    No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

    5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

    Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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    Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

    6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

    Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

    Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

    Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

    7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

    Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

    Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

    And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

    8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

    When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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    Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

    9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

    Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

    Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

    Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

    10. Journal During This Time

    Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

    This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

    11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

    It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

    The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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    Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

    12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

    The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

    Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

    When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

    Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

    Final Thoughts

    Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

    Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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