Do You Use Your Phone Too Much?

Let’s face it. Most of us use our phones way more than we probably should. You plan to go on tiktok for a few minutes and end up scrolling for hours. It’s not the healthiest habit to have. Aside from entertainment, we use our phones as a means of communication with almost everyone we know. We use them to search the internet as well. Since the invention of smartphones, people actually tend to use phones to get online more often than they use a computer. It’s convenient, quick, and simple. How bad could it be, right?

Cell phone use can trigger the release of a chemical called dopamine in your brain. Dopamine contributes to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as a part of the brain’s reward system, so our brains learn that time on the phone derives a pleasurable reward feedback. This reward system is exactly what can lead to addiction. We like the pleasure we feel when we use our phones, and the use of the phone is easy and convenient. Since smartphones are so small and compact, we are able to take them just about anywhere and use them compulsively.

Smartphone addiction can cause a multitude of problems. It can increase loneliness, depression, stress, and anxiety, disturb your sleep, and diminish your ability to concentrate. The average person spends over four  hours a day on their phone. Since everyone’s lifestyle is unique and individual, there is not one set amount of time that can be considered excessive; however, when it starts to affect your life negatively and cause serious personal issues, you will know that it is a problem you need to address. 

If you believe you are addicted to your phone, there are some steps you can take to get the problem under control. Setting goals for when you can use your phone can help you be productive and reward yourself for getting things done. For example, you can reward yourself with a certain amount of time on your phone after you have completed an assignment or task. If you have a second of free time, go talk to someone or find a book to read instead of reaching for your phone. Avoiding excessive phone use is an important step in keeping your mind healthy. Limiting phone use will allow you to enhance your personal relationships and engage more with others around you. This quality time with those around you can serve to enhance your quality of life and set an example for your peers.

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