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Attached to Phone = Detached from Life

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Mobile phone

At least constantly checking your phone  once every few minutes sucks you into the whirlpool of social media and other apps. It not only affects your decision making but controls actions and moods… writes Anisha Minocha, a student at Altrincham Grammar for Girls

Mobile phone

Ding. Buzz. Pop. Comment. Like. Post. Slowly but surely negatively effecting those who live in an endless world of notifications. We’re in the 21st Century and since 2010 it’s been increasingly harder to put our phones down… but why so?

The brain is attached to routine (like research shows 25% of teenagers are dependent on their phones). It all starts with a trigger, or hopefullness of a notification. Many people would unlock their phone at the first sight of a notification. This gradually becomes a routinely pattern.
On top of all this, the reward stimulates the majority of people due to an almost instant sense of satisfaction. The reward could be anything from a like, comment or receiving a text. It’s this pattern of a cue, routine and reward that makes phone addiction so much like those of gambling and drugs.

At least constantly checking your phone  once every few minutes sucks you into the whirlpool of social media and other apps. It not only affects your decision making but controls actions and moods. Being addicted to phones ensures brains don’t develop at the correct pace that it should be and social interactions start to thin. Those who ‘can’t live without their phones’ may think they are unwinding at the end of the day by checking their phones; but it’s really the opposite. Phone addiction stiffens your neck as well as straining your back and eyesights. Many symptoms of phone addiction are seen as anxiety when the battery is low or even thinking a phone has notified you when it hasn’t. Although many use phones to connect with others or most working adults find it “a helpful and useful tool” it is also used by many young people as a support to deal with lots of unwanted emotions who try and loose themselves in a different world.

Like any other addiction it’s hard to stop- but there is always a way out. A good way to get out of this situation is to try and use the psychology behind how the brain works with phone addictions. For example, trying to better the rewards by spending less time on screens could motivate you to not fall for the rewards smartphones give you (like a reply to a message).
A way of trying to beat phones using phones is to install apps on your phone which limit phone use. ‘Moment’ is a screen time tracker which sets you up with mini tasks (like put down your phone for 30 minutes) to complete, which distances people further from their smartphones.
‘Breakfree’ also tracks how much time you spend on your device so it slowly lessons your addition, it includes statistics on your device use. Both of these apps are available with Androids and ios’ and are free. Another simpler method to prevent phone attachment, like giving their phone to a trusted person to keep safe and away from them for a certain amount of time or switch of wifi to prevent the triggers which will then stop the whole cycle. As 75% of people sleep next to their phones it is often significantly useful to charge and keep phones either in a separate room or away from your bed.

Gradually limiting your phone use will encourage you to be more interactive socially, and many learn that you can become part of a much better world by just ignoring a screen and realising the abundance of opportunities that can be presented on a daily basis.