With constantly changing technology habits so ingrained in our society, dependence on technology is an ordinary phenomenon. However, confinement due to Covid19 has forced people to stay home and telecommute. It has increased the time of use and is beginning to blur the barrier between the online and offline world. Today we talk about how spending too much time hooked on the Internet, and social networks can turn into a smartphone addiction.
Society is increasingly dependent on technology to perform not only its work but also the most common tasks and habits of its day today. A fact that is radically changing communication, personal relationships, forms of consumption, and interaction with the world, broadly speaking. This paradigm shift, in which people almost always need an electronic device to do anything, is beginning to create a strong dependence on smartphones and technology in general. You start to pay more attention to notifications and digital activity than to what happens in your physical environment. A new context that affects to a greater degree the more “connected” generations, such as young people and adolescents.
What is smartphone addiction
This dependence on technology is causing people to focus more and more attention on the digital environment. Consequently, the new reality changes your priorities and the way you respond to the stimuli around you. The more time you spend hooked on the computer, social networks, the Internet, or browsing, the more it becomes a habit and a new lifestyle. The fact that can promote the appearance of disorders, such as mobile phone addiction.
Mobile or smartphone addiction is caused by the abuse of this device. When a person spends excessive time using the phone, they begin to focus all their thoughts on it before, while, and after using it. The fact that prevents you from performing any other activity, resting, or even attending to your immediate habits and needs. This irrational and excessive use of the smartphone is known as nomophobia—a term referring to individuals who suffer from mobile addiction, especially adolescents and minors.
Symptoms of smartphone dependence
Dependence on new technologies generates psychological disorders and is detrimental to health. If the mobile phone, social networks, or any other related activity is not used responsibly, it may affect the health and behavior of the person. Some of the symptoms of smartphone addiction that can be suffered are:
- Inability to hold long conversations or any other lasting activity
- The constant need to check if there are new messages, notifications, or other information on the mobile
- Difficulty sleeping without having the smartphone on and close
- Frequently check WhatsApp messages from friends and family
- Symptoms of anxiety when you forget your smartphone or lose it
- General discomfort when the mobile runs out of battery
Consequences of smartphone addiction
The consequences that smartphone addiction brings to health are usually serious illnesses. They create a personality disorder, modify behavior, and alter the habits and priorities of the person:
- Anxiety when the mobile is not being used
- Compulsive behavior to check new notifications, battery level, coverage, or anything new that makes it easier for you to use your smartphone again
- Worsening of personal relationships. They affect both at work, at home, and in the most immediate social circle. They hurt friendships, concentration, and productivity
- Phenomenon of “friendly presenteeism.” The person is present but does not pay attention to what is happening around him. Any social event is interrupted by the continued use of the mobile
The addiction to the smartphone is an addictive disorder seriously. Despite not generating physical effects directly, it has a great impact on the mind and emotional health of the individual. In the short term, it can cause discomfort, problems of considerable magnitude, and damage to your habits and vital needs. However, in the long term, it can become a serious illness that affects all areas of a person’s life. For this reason, dependence on technology must be treated as an important condition and must be treated as soon as possible to minimize its consequences.
What are the necessary steps parents should take to combat smartphone addiction?
Controlling your child’s smartphone addiction is not easy in this tech-influenced age, but here are the three most effective tips to get you started.
Set an exemplary character
This is the toughest thing to do. Parents are often tempted to check their phones while mealtimes or during family hours. Children start adopting the same behavior and eventually get addicted to the screen. Setting a good example is a parent’s first task to do for battling screen addiction.
Use cell phone parental control app
Parents cannot be at their children’s heads to monitor their activities 24/7. By using the cell phone parental control app, it becomes immensely easier to reduce smartphone addiction in kids. There are many apps that parents can use, but the one worth trying is FamilyTime. This app helps parents to allow their specific hours for device use and can even schedule auto screen-locks. With this, you can block in appropriate and addictive apps either temporarily or permanently.
For reducing screen use, parents need to encourage their kids to take part in physical activities such as sports, swimming, etc. This is not only good for their physical fitness, but it also increases self-confidence in kids. They can interact with others socially in a friendly environment.