Mobile Addiction

Diagnosis:

How can you tell if you are addicted to your phone?

  • If you are average you check your device 150 times per day (67 percent of the time, that’s not because it rang or vibrated). This means you open an average of ten apps per day and look at your phone every six minutes while you are awake.1)“An Attempt to Validate the 150x Per Day Number Based On ‘Typical User'”, available from: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/01/an-attempt-to-validate-the-150x-per-day-number-based-on-typical-user.html. Accessed February 12, 2015.
  • To qualify as a mobile addict you have to check your phone 10x the average person. Therefore, you must launch “apps more than 60 times per day.” If you are in this category you are probably a teenager, college student, or a middle-aged parent.2)Simon Khalaf, “The Rise of the Mobile Addict” from Flurry by Yahoo, available online: http://www.flurry.com/blog/flurry-insights/rise-mobile-addict#.VN1qdy578nV. Accessed February 12, 2015.

Since 2013, the number of “Mobile Addicts” has more than doubled:

I think it’s fair to say that most of us wish other people used their phones less! But being addicted to technology is a major problem, since addiction to mobile technology attacks several important parts of what it means to be human. This list just skims the surface:

  1. The ability to be creative Creativity requires boredom and downtime, which mobile devices steal away.
  2. The ability to sleep deeply – Deep sleep requires circadian rhythms that follow the sun. Shining a tablet in your face before bed is like drinking a caffeinated beverage.
  3. The ability to remember – We have long known that tools like Google make it so that we no longer practice remembering information, instead we remember where to find it. Similarly, using the camera in your pocket causes a similar negative memory effect known as “photo-taking impairment effect.”
  4. The ability to pray – Brain science has shown that the kind of prayer which positively affects your brain takes at least 12 minutes of attentive prayer (most people will be distracted by their phones at least twice during this time).3)Rob Moll, What Your Body Knows About God: How We Are Designed to Connect, Serve, and Thrive (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2014), Kindle Location, 127.

A Cure:

“If your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out!” So get rid of your smartphone! Of course I know you won’t, so here’s the next best advice:

  1. Listen to the terrific “Bored and Brilliant” podcast series by New Tech City, which starts with the January 11, 2015 episode. You can get more info here: http://www.wnyc.org/series/bored-and-brilliant/.
  2. Don’t carry your phone on your person for a week. Instead, put it in a purse, or your jacket while you are at work.
  3. Put a long password on your phone: “Make it 20 characters long and include numbers and symbols. Entering it will take a while and you’ll get frustrated. That frustration should keep you off your phone and train you to just ignore it unless you really do need to use it.”
  4. Try an app that monitors your usage like Moment for iOS, and Break Free for Android.
  5. Compensate for the light from screens that keep you awake at night by using Flux on all of your devices (you need to jailbreak on iOS to use this app). Also, don’t charge your phone on your bedside table.
  6. Commit to a tech Sabbath each week. Check out the Sabbath Manifesto and get their app to remind you to unplug weekly.
  7. David Murray adds a helpful idea for us as Christians: “set a rule that for every time you check email, etc., the next time you feel the urge, try to pray for someone. That will cut phone use by 50% and significantly increase the number of people you pray for every day.”

Recommended Books:

  
  
Mobile Addiction: Diagnosis and Cure

References   [ + ]

Tagged on:     

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *