Too Much Screen Time

If you’re anything like almost half of the planet* you might be addicted to your smartphone. Regularly checking your emails, scrolling through your social media news feeds, and watching endless streams of 30-second videos on TikTok. It’s become a huge part of everyday life; with the average person spending at least 4 hours a day on their phone. (RescueTime, 2018)

For many of us, our phones connect us to our livelihoods. Our businesses depend on our ability to be connected at all times, and able to do business anywhere we go. Smartphones have become double-edged swords that many of us can’t function without.

Addiction to our mobile devices is called Nomophobia, and while cell phone addiction isn’t specifically viewed as an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, many of its symptoms do align with other recognized behavioral addictions. Social media websites are designed to function in our brains in the same way that gambling machines do, feeding the reward centers of our brains with quick, easy repetition, bite-sized prizes that keep us coming back.

Be it work or play, our smartphones have a tight grip on our attention, and there is mounting evidence that this isn’t a good thing. There are a wide variety of physical and psychological ill effects that have been attributed to excessive smartphone use ranging from eye-strain, disrupted sleep, headaches, increased anxiety and depression, ADHD, and more.

The regular dependence on our devices can even negatively affect our relationships in the real world, interrupting our ability to interact with others in normal and healthy ways.

And, as with anything addictive, it can be difficult but there are ways to help us limit our smartphone usage. Try setting goals to reduce the time you spend on your device with apps that track and manage how much time you spend on them. Schedule when you will perform business-related tasks like checking messages and give yourself regular “office hours” after which you stop using them. And when you’re with others, turn it off and put it away.

We can all do better to live in the moment and step away from the screen a little bit more.

Written by Blog Contributor: Holly Lynn Gibbons

*(48% of the world population report an addiction to smartphone use, according to a Statista report.)