“Daddy…Daddy…Daddy…DADDY!” My sons words were audible but not necessarily registering as I was browsing the sports stories of the day after a long day at work. When I finally came to I had that sinking feeling, “I did it again”. I completely ignored my child, to browse the meaningless news and sports as he was desperately trying to get my attention. Recently I have become more aware of the staggering amount of time I spend on my phone. Whether it is to check the sports scores, check the weather, check social media, play a quick game or see if any emails have popped up in the last half hour. Regardless of whether I want to admit it or not, I am addicted. It sounds ridiculous to say, but sadly it’s true.
An article on “The Daily Infographic” shows that I am not alone. Here are a few stats it reports.
-The average person checks their cell phone 110x per day
-50% of teens admit to being addicted to their phones
-44% check job related email while on vacation
-75% admitted to having texted and driven
So what does this mean? In an article on CNN.com titled “Smartphone addiction could be changing your brain”, it points to a study done at Korea University in Seoul. They studied 19 boys who were addicted to their phones and 19 who were not. They found significantly higher levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits neurons, in the brains of those addicted to their phones. According to professor Caglar Yildirim this means, “…if you are too dependent on your smartphone, you are basically damaging your ability to be attentive”. He went on to point out that those who were addicted to their phones also experienced significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety and impulsivity.
Much of this might be similar to what you have heard before or already knew. My hope is that together we can become more aware of the effects this has on our lives and make a change for the better. As always I will provide a few tips to get over this hurdle but I want to quickly mention one that might just be most important and that is the need to find your “why”. We can have all the tips and tricks in the world but if we don’t know why we want to spend less time on our phones it will never stick. My why, is that I want my kids to know that they have my full attention and that they should never have to wait for me to put my phone down to be present with them.
That being said, here are 3 quick tips to beat your phone addiction:
Mindfulness: A form of meditation that focuses on being fully present with your current feelings (physical, emotional) and thoughts. Try being still for 3 min this week and see what comes up!
Datexx Cube Timer: This cube shaped timer comes with intervals of 5,15, 30, and 60 min presets. Just flip it over and the timer begins! Next time you want to take a break turn on a timer for 5 min. This will prevent those five min turning into 45.
Delete Apps: Make it harder to get to the info or game that you want. By putting up another barrier to prevent yourself from quickly checking something on your phone you are increasing the likelihood that you just won’t check at all.
If you feel like this is an issue for you that you cannot beat yourself, or if you are dealing with something similar and want help, we are here for you! OnBoard Coaching has the experience and tools to help you beat whatever is holding you back and help you live the life you’ve always wanted!