It’s almost impossible to imagine life without smartphones.
We can all relate to being glued to our phones. We could be mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds or playing our favourite mobile game. From the way we communicate, to how we consume information, media and entertainment, our lives have been shaped by technology in a big way.
But with this increasing dependence on our phones comes an unexpected effect – smartphone addiction – and many people don’t realize is how this type of behaviour can affect our brains over time.
In this article, we will explore the effects of smartphone addiction, this time on your brain, and also discover why we get addicted in the first place.
What is smartphone addiction?
Smartphone addiction, also known as nomophobia, is a condition where people feel anxious or uncomfortable when they are unable to use their smartphones.
This can include feeling anxious about being without a signal, not being able to check social media, or not being able to access the internet. People with smartphone addiction may even experience physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and sweating.
There are many factors that can contribute to smartphone addiction, including boredom, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The overuse of smartphones can also lead to problems with sleeping, concentration, and memory. In extreme cases, people with smartphone addiction may even suffer from hallucinations.
Why do we get addicted to our smartphones?
We get addicted to our smartphones because they are convenient, portable, and always with us. We use them for everything from communicating with friends and family to keeping up with the news and weather. They are also a source of entertainment, which can make them hard to put down.
The constant availability of our smartphones gives us a false sense of security and connection. We feel like we always need to be available in case someone needs us. This addiction can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as physical health problems like headaches and neck pain.
Smartphones can also be addictive because of the dopamine rush we get when we receive a notification or text message. Our brains are wired to seek out rewards, and the anticipation of hearing from someone we care about can be enough to trigger that response.
The problem with this kind of dopamine hit is that it is short-lived. Because of this, you would find yourself coming back for more in an attempt to recapture that feeling.
How is your brain impacted by smartphone addiction?
Being addicted to your smartphone is like living in two worlds. There’s the real world, and then there’s the virtual world that exists on your phone. And the line between the two is becoming increasingly blurred.
This can impact our brains in a number of ways. First, as mentioned earlier, it leads to increased anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that people who are addicted to their smartphones are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those who aren’t. This is because they constantly compare themselves to others and look at pictures of people who seem to be living perfect lives.
Also, smartphone addiction leads to changes in your brain chemistry. When you’re addicted to your phone, you get a hit of dopamine every time you check it. This is the same chemical that’s released when you do drugs or gamble. Over time, your brain becomes reliant on this dopamine hit, and you need more of it to feel happy.
Most concerning is how smartphone addiction can lead to cognitive impairment. Because you’re constantly multitasking and trying to process information from multiple sources, your brain isn’t able to focus properly. This can lead to problems with memory, attention span, and decision-making skills.
Does this concern you?
If you’re concerned about your smartphone addiction, there are some steps you can take to cut back.
You can try to set limits on how much time you allow yourself to use your phone each day, or leave it at home when you go out so you’re not tempted to check it constantly. Applatch can help you achieve this by locking the apps you find the most addictive for the time period you desire, and not allowing you to pause or stop the session without permission from your chosen accountability partner.
You might also want to delete any apps that aren’t essential. This way, you’re not as tempted to mindlessly scroll through your feed.
It is clear that the overuse of smartphones can have a negative impact on our brains. It’s important for us to be aware of how this technology affects our mental and physical well-being.
It is essential that we form healthy habits when using these devices. Set boundaries. for ourselves so as not to get overly reliant on them. Take regular breaks from screen time and make sure to unplug at least once or twice a week. These are just some of the strategies we can adopt in order to keep smartphone addiction from taking its toll on our minds.