How To Avoid Becoming A Slave To Your Electronic Internet Devices
Our lives today have become inextricably entwined with electronic devices. For many reasons, our cell phones, tablets and other devices have helped us. They allow us to connect more easily with others, to work on the go or work at home, and to access more information. There are downsides too. Becoming addicted to using your devices is a real possibility. We can become so dependent on them that it gets difficult to put them down or to turn them off.
According to studies, being addicted to your cell phone is similar to other impulse control disorders, like compulsive shopping. All activities linked to our phones can lead us to use them obsessively. This includes texting, surfing the Internet, emailing and playing games. Using devices can start to take over your life, but if you are aware of the issue and your own usage, you can prevent it
On reading this, you may feel immediately defensive. Maybe you don’t think you use your devices to an excessive degree. Find out just how much you are on them by keeping a log. Keep a notebook handy or a note writing app on your Smartphone, and record the time you spend doing anything on your phone, tablet or computer that is not directly related to work or actual phone calls. You may just be surprised by how much time you are texting, checking Facebook updates and Tweets, or checking on emails. Imagine what else you could do with all that time.
Can You Limit Device Use In Certain Situations?
A major irritant of modern life is when people use their phones in inappropriate situations. Checking your texts at dinner, at the movies or when in the middle of a conversation with a real, live person is inconsiderate. If you struggle to turn away from your phone in these situations, you could have a problem. Set a goal for yourself of resisting those urges. When you are with a friend or your family, tell them that you are trying to limit yourself and encourage them to call you out when you slip up. Their support will help you.
Can You Unplug For An Hour?
Test the extent of your devotion to your devices by trying to leave them alone for just one hour when you’re alone and have no one to distract you. Turn off your phone, put your tablet in a drawer, turn off your computer, and walk away. Pick up a book or magazine, bake something, watch a movie, or do anything else for an hour and see how it feels.
If you are disturbed by constant urges to check your texts, your emails, or your social media pages, you may have the beginnings of a device addiction. If you can get past those urges, however, and spend the hour avoiding your devices, it will make a difference. Try to do this once a day, and even twice a day to get some space between you and your gadgets.
Device addiction in all its forms—Internet, gaming, texting—is a real thing. You can become too attached to your gadgets and what they represent: connection. It’s OK, and even healthy, to disconnect for periods of time. Unplug and do something else and you may just find that you had been neglecting other hobbies and activities you enjoy. You may also find that you were failing to connect with people in the real world. As long as you are aware and make a point to limit yourself, you can avoid the dreaded device addiction.
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