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  • Writer's pictureShumay Counseling

Phone Off, Life On.

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

What constantly looking at your phone does to your mind, mood, and confidence.

It is no secret that smart phones have changed day-to-day life. Smart phones forever changed how we conduct business, how people connect, how information is discovered, and human's ability to multitask. This begs the question, what are the draw backs to all this technology at our finger tips?

The typical cellphone user touches his or her phone 2,617 time every day, according to a study by research firm Dscout. But that's just the average user: The study found that extreme cellphone users — meaning the top 10% — touch their phones more than 5,400 times daily.

When talking to a parent, child, friend, or co-worker it can be hard to break a habit such as looking at your phone, but does that make it healthy or respectful? We surveyed a group of people and asked if they disliked when someone was using or looking at their phones while he/she was talking. The results were unanimous. People agreed that they felt disrespected and uninteresting to the other person. So why is this? Why do we hate when others do not engage or listen intently, yet we may be the ones frustrating the person speaking to us?

In a recent study, 94% of participants reported feeling troubled when they didn’t have their phone with them, 80% felt jealous when someone else held their phone, and 70% expected to feel depressed, panicked, and helpless if their phone was lost or stolen, according to Psychology Today.

Humans long for connection with others. Now with smartphones, we are able to be available and in constant contact with people and expect the same in return, but again, does that mean we should?

When we asked our participants if they have ever experienced FOMO (the fear of missing out) most said, "yes." One participant shared an example saying, "Snapchat and Instagram can be the worst because I see in live time what people are doing, who they are with, and where they are at and if I am just laying in my bed at home I start to feel guilty and lonely..."

Social media can lead users to compare, judge, and compete, resulting in increased depression and anxiety. If you decide to have a social media account or account(s), please realize there are a lot of unrealistic expectations from others about what makes a person interesting, popular, or happy. However, there is beauty in being unique. What makes one person happy, might not make you happy. It is OKAY to sit at home some nights and relax, even if others are out!

How Can I Live a Healthier and Happier Life?:

The advice I would share would be...

1. Live in the moment

Instead of video taping a concert that your followers will click through in .03 seconds, enjoy the moment. When out to coffee with someone, put the phone away!

2. Read a book instead

Find a book that is beneficial to you and makes you happy.

3. Journal your emotions, do not tweet them

Instead of taking your frustration out online, journal them. Try writing a letter to the person you are upset with, but do not send it to them.

4. Disconnect

It can be leaving your phone in the car when going to meet up with your friend, or logging off of social media for a day or two. Remember, you do not always need to be available 24/7.

5. Turn off your phone

Try turning your phone off before bed and charging it outside of your bedroom. This will help limit the temptation of wanting to check your phone and help you focus on sleep.

6. Face to Face

Meet with friends and do something active or be involved in a group that meets once a week and engage with them instead of your phone.

When you start to incorporate at least a few of these tips into your life, you will start to realize that life has more to offer than checking your phone. Life is beautiful and there is much to experience and discover. Start conversations with others, look at them, and be present in the moment.


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