This Cosmo article I contributed to 7 years ago, on the dangers of being too tied to one’s phone, is all the more true in this day and age of “endemic living”. It is time to use technology less and engage in life more. So stop reading these words, put down your device and engage in the here and now. What is one thing you hear? What is one thing you see? What is one thing you smell? What is one thing you can touch? You deserve more full sensory living and less e-living!!!
Negative Consequences of Excess Phone/Tech Usage:
- It could make you feel depressed. Studies link frequent social media use and depression — and smartphones makes it easy to OD. “Being bombarded by images of everyone looking happy and successful leads to unhealthy and inaccurate comparisons and decreased feelings of self-worth,” says Debra Kissen, Ph.D., clinical director of Light on Anxiety Treatment Center in Chicago.
- It can trigger nomophobia, or the fear of being without your phone. You know that feeling of safety and security you get from having a fully charged phone in your hand? Nomophobia is the opposite: It can lead you to think — often irrationally — that you’re not safe without a phone in your hand, Kissen explains.To get over this fear, face it head on by leaving it behind for increasing amounts of time at increasingly far distances. And remember that people managed to survive without their phones 15 years ago. You’ll make it — trust.
- It could give you “rinxiety” or “phantom pocket vibration syndrome.” These conditions refer to anxiety surrounding missed messages and phone calls — and the more often you check your device, the worse it will get, Kissen says. Your behavior is only a Real Problem if it starts to interfere with daily functioning (i.e., you check your phone so often you can’t complete menial tasks at work) or causes excessive distress (i.e., any stress — so what if you miss a text?!). If you can’t change your ways on your own by paring back on screen checks, cognitive behavioral therapy is always an option.
- It could dull your memory. With a smartphone handy, there’s no reason to memorize things you know you can easily look up — like phone numbers. And when you stop memorizing facts and figures, your memory can get a little rusty, Kissen says. (Luckily, you don’t have to worry about permanent damage — memory games can help rebuild brainpower.)