It is very fashionable to blame the cell phone for the hours we spend staring at the screen, but it is up to us whether or not we are slaves to a device.
Nomophobia (irrational fear of not being able to use our phone due to forgetfulness, lack of battery, coverage, etc.) is a consequence, they say, of smartphone addiction. But the reality is that a cell phone is only a tool we are not truly addicted to; the addiction is caused by its content (gaming apps, social networks, messaging.)
We are clearly misusing the amazing tool, the mobile phone if we feel the need to be always connected or worried about missing the latest snapshot shared on Instagram by the influencer of the moment.
We have to realize that if we allow a device to control our lives, it’s not that the device itself is bad. It’s just that we are using it wrong. It is the hackneyed example of the knife that we can use to eat or cut a line and stab our leg or that of our neighbor. Is the knife bad? No. What is bad is the use we make of it.
Of course, we often use the mobile phone for essential purposes, such as education. We can read Wikipedia, https://www.wowessays.com/, Google Scholar articles, etc. But frequently sit for hours on social networks, damaging our health and doing nothing for our development. Plus, the ones that cause proven psychological changes are social networks. However, as in the previous example, our use of them will determine how harmful those “changes” will be.
Social networks affect our self-esteem and the unrealistic perception generated about the lives of others and ourselves. They are machines for creating polarized opinions, fake news, and displaying a fallacious lifestyle that makes us question reality.
In addition, networks like Instagram also maintain gender stereotypes, hypersexualize women, and some companies use it as a form of covert advertising. The problem is really that aesthetic clinics find that their clientele, increasingly younger, ask to have their face modified to look like an Instagram filter.
But even on this network, some people manage to share the photos they like without turning themselves into a product, so, as we said, it all depends on how we use the tool.
When it becomes a problem. When we spend more hours of the day looking at a screen than at the world around us or the people we interact with in person. Having the cell phone off causes us stress even if we are not expecting an important call or message.
Tools are helpful for what they were designed for, and the cell phone is indeed useful for many things, but just as we don’t carry a Swiss Army knife permanently in our hand, we shouldn’t have difficulty letting go of a phone. If we do, then we need to change our habits. And how do we do that? Well, we can start by following these six guidelines:
Trying to let go of the cell phone and have it calling us all the time with its siren songs is complicated. Every application has a series of notifications that ask us to make us do them nonstop, so the first step is to eliminate them.
Except for calls or WhatsApp messages (and not precisely those of the groups), the rest should be silent, and we will see them when appropriate (which is never in a family meal or the middle of a conversation with our friends).
Both social networks and the phone have counters for our time using them. It is good to consult it so that we realize the magnitude of the problem and, once we have verified that we spend more than 2 hours a day hooked, set a limit.
Colors attract attention, which is why they are used, but the cell phone has a function to put the home screen in black and white, so why not use it?
When we are going to do something like cooking, reading, washing up, chatting with our parents, swimming in the sea, or anything else that does not require a phone, better leave the cell phone far away so that it is not a temptation. And far away is in another room or well stored in the bag or backpack.
If we like games like solitaire or Candy Crush Saga, better to play on the computer or console and not on the cell phone. This way, we will avoid spending more hours than necessary with the cell phone.
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Almost all of us do it at night to charge the phone, but what we do not do is charge it outside our room. We should go to bed without our phones and take the opportunity to read before going to sleep and not look at social networks. The blue lights on the screen make it difficult to fall asleep and make us rest worse.
No one in their right mind would give up such a fantastic tool, nor is that what is being asked for, but neither can we let it control our lives, so, as always, the important thing is to find a balance.
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