Smartphone addiction is a neglected and most worrying topic in terms of mental and overall health. Previously where a phone was just used to make calls and receive SMS is now used for many things. Yes, we can say that evolving is necessary but at what cost? Continuing with the article, I would share some statistics of Mobile phone addiction which would make you wonder, what is it actually costing us, our health, and our relationships.
What is Smartphone addiction?
Smartphone addiction is also termed as ‘Nomophobia’ (fear of being without a mobile phone) which is often fueled by overuse of the Internet, Social Media, Games, and watching videos for a long duration. The common symptoms of Mobile Addiction are:-
- Virtual Relationships – When you forget to live in the real world and concentrate more on social media, dating apps, texting, and much more.
- Browsing overload – Unnecessary browsing, surfing, watching videos that are of no use.
- Cybersex addiction – Viewing porn and artificial fantasies related to it.
- Online Gambling – Playing games with real money, gambling on online sites.
These are some of the major symptoms which are truly affecting our time, health and money If you want to read fully in detail you can visit Helpguide.org.
The problem with this addiction is that it’s cheap, no restrictions and’s easily accessible.
A survey created on Americans by Review.org clearly stated:-
- 65% of users sleep with their phone at night.
- 45 % of users would give up on sex for a year over their cell phone.
- 32.7 % of users pay more time to phone rather than beloved ones.
- 7.4 % of users continuously watch their phone while driving.
- 19 % of Americans consider themselves purely addictive to Smartphone.
Want more data, check the image below to know more:-
Well, I’m not pointing out only America, Probably the list would never end if I start Speaking each and every country. Recently an article based on Smartphone over dependency wrote about the worlds leading tech country South Korea. In South Korea almost 95 % of adults own a smartphone, A survey from 15000 users was generated which clearly stated that about 20% of them were at potential risk and 4% with High Risk.
Smartphone addiction has caused them health problems which are categorized at potential risk, and some that have lost total control of their selves were graphed at 4%.
Why is Smartphone so Addictive?
Availability, Freedom, User-friendly and pricing are the main key points of this reason. The real revolution of smartphone began due to cheap internet, easy availability and year by year updates, new features, ‘Games’ and “Social Media”.
Although new updates like Video Calling, Camera, daily use applications, easy to access information via a browser were the amazing features created ever by smartphone companies that actually dealt with real-life problems. But the only thing that made smartphones addictive were Games, Social-Media, Video Browsing or watching (TV shows) for long hours are the three main reasons for Smartphone Addiction.
Before beginning the article we must remember that we can’t blame any applications fully as they never said to try their apps and get addicted. It’s our choice and we’re responsible for it.
Smartphone gaming addiction:-
PUBG – Player’s unknown battleground is and will be one of the best game ever created for mobile. But this game was heavily criticized for being addictive and promoting violence.
Meanwhile, the response from PUBG was that we’ll sort this problem and make sure that no one plays PUBG for hours, And What they did?
- In the new update, they added a form in which we need to check that we’re above 18 or not (no proof is needed just tick a mark) and they claimed that age below 13 will have a digital lock which will be opened only by their parents.
- They also tried to bring some pop-ups such as you’ve played for 2 hours do take a break – (Yes we’re convinced), The maximum limit to play this game per day was 5 hours.
- Let’s agree to a fact they genuinely never bothered about addiction because this was making huge money for them.
- Then too personally speaking I didn’t find PUBG as addictive as Clash of Clans.
Clash Of Clans another Mobile game that was fully functional on time, You need to build your base, attack someone else’s base, Build your army for war, Train your troops. Everything was synchronized with time. In Simple words, if an item is upgraded after 2 hours, we’ll log in at the game exactly after 2 hours and generate some more coins via attacking to a base and upgrade a second item. I’ve played several games but trust me it’s way more addictive, lightweight (as in storage) and consumes less battery and internet compared to PUBG.
There are many more games but as per me, these are the most played as well as highly addictive games available on a smartphone.
#Do note: Above 2 games were played by me and these are my personal views, My intentions are not to defame or to promote any game.
Social Media Addiction, A sweet Poison of Smartphone Addiction:-
In the year 2009 – 2011, there was only 1 popular application that was available for Chatting, playing games and uploading photos on Facebook. But WhatsApp dethroned Facebook and was one of the most popular messaging applications used for communication purpose. WhatsApp was invented in 2009 having 2,50,000 users and in 2013 it had 200 million active users World-Wide.
Then in 2014 WhatsApp was sold to Facebook and now the worlds best communication applications Facebook and Whatsapp are owned by a Single Company.
The same goes with Instagram, A Application that was used as check-in and for photo sharing was created in the year 2010 and was only available for IOS on 6th October 2010. The application received huge funding due to its innovative idea. In April 2012 – The android version was rolled out which created a record of 1 million downloads on its first day.
Instagram gained more popularity than Facebook in terms of Image Sharing, and thus Facebook bought it for 1Billion dollars in the year 2012. So now 3 major applications are owned and fully controlled by one Company Facebook.
Why Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram are mainly responsible for Smartphone Addiction?
Although there are many common things between 3 applications such as Texting, Image and Video Sharing and making friends. But the important concept of sharing what’s going on in other’s life is the real reason behind this addiction. Rather than focusing on our carriers or goals, we stay online to check what’s happening in the world.
The follower concept of Instagram took 1 step further which created some sort of ego or a proud feeling among ourselves. More followers or like count we have on our account or posts more we frame ourselves bigger in terms of status and even if we don’t have that count we encourage ourselves to show a fake lifestyle of ours so that we can try to match with some of the high profile celebrities.
Almost every celebrity, Players, Politicians are active on Instagram and regularly share some updates regarding their work (Fake or real we don’t know about them).
And we as being follower are viewing, sharing and gossiping about their content while actually, they might be doing their real job.
For a Memer (One who creates memes) Instagram is a paradise to get a hell number of followers in fewer days.
Memes are the real reason why we keep scrolling which keeps us happy. A hormonal logic clearly relies on Memes.
4 main hormones that are released from our body when we are happy:-
- Serotonin:- Mood Stabilizer
- Dopamine:- Pleasure, Motivational
- Endorphines:- Pain Relief, Relaxation
- Oxytocin:- Bonding, love, lust
(And all we want in life is to be ____ forever).
But in the habit of scrolling forever we’re wasting our precious time and overall health. Scrolling for 10 minutes a day on Instagram or any social media app is never harmful. But scrolling every 30 mins of an hour on Social Media is a real problem.
The owner of these applications really know that these applications are killing us mentally, But who cares. For them its Business and forever it will be.
That was all for Social Media let’s read more about the trending addiction of the world — Binge-Watching Tv Shows.
Binge Watching Addiction (Watching unwanted video content for Hours):-
Watching content on TV was a peaceful option rather than on mobile it prevented our eyes, our body posture and the value of the particular show that it won’t be repeated again. But that’s not the same with (OTT content Application and YouTube). As in the past few years due to the cheap Internet, the increase in viewing Video content drastically changed. Web Applications such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar are some of the famous OTT content providers who create TV shows and upload them on their applications. There are almost 30 OTT in India but the above three are more famous.
Although an OTT platform is never free a user needs to pay a minimal fee per month or a year to view that shows or he needs to access illegal sites to download files and then watch. Now it’s not like they create only 1 season of the show per month. Probably 10-15 shows with a minimal duration from a range of 30 mins – 1 hour per episode a season are created by different service providers.
A single season might have 5 to 10 episodes per season.
As of now a trend or we may call it a hype is created for every upcoming famous web series so that more viewers subscribe to their OTT and watch the content. Recently in India, a Popular show from Amazon Prime named Mirzapur season 2 had a season release day announcement video of 59 Seconds, which has 13 million views.
- What’s so good about the content, Is it informative or only entertaining?
Yes, it can be informative and entertaining, but probably many TV shows have few things in common which include Nudity, Abusive language, Criminal activities and astonishing dialogue delivery. Although it’s not like due to the above 4 mentioned things we should avoid watching it. But it’s a fact that we’re demanding more of it. OTT platforms don’t have a middleman like censorship, they can shoot whatever they want and upload it directly to the content. OTT contents are gaining popularity but are feeding Violence, Sex and Nudity in the mobile era
So where the addiction part lies here?
Violence Abusive language, The grudge are some of the things that a hero or a villain has in the story. And at the time revenge when a combination of music, Animation, Drama, Dialogues and Action creates more excitements among us. And all we want is to see these clips more and more which leads to smartphone Addiction.
Even Nudity is equally responsible for addiction, As many of the OTT platforms such as ULLU and Alt Balaji are famous for providing these contents. More nudity, more hype is created to watch the show.
The only problem with any TV shows is that many individuals leave their important work and may finish all the episodes in a day or two that too without taking a break.
Again the concept of Hormones lies here whenever we watch a TV show, Dopamine hormone is released which makes us watch more.
But the thing we forget is that it’s damaging our eyes as well as body posture. As the content is easily available on Smartphone no one would try to watch the shows sitting straight. Using a smartphone for a long duration with bad posture may even lead to spinal degeneration.
The same goes for YouTube Addiction:-
The algorithm of YouTube is so well updated that whenever we watch a video of our desire, the recommendation algorithm is so strong that we’ll be forced to watch the video located next in the feed.
The videos in the feed located on the right side will be either related to their content, our favourite song, comedy video or any topic that we search for more on YouTube.
So once the first video is just played we’ll see a list of videos on the right side that we have liked, or we have interacted on some topic refereed to the video
And this loop continues till the time we’ve realized that we were here for a single video and have watched almost 4-5 videos.
Now, these topics are the major reason for Smartphone Addiction. How to stop or control it?
Let’s recall all the types of Smartphone addiction one by one below
How to Stop Video Game Addiction:-
Before Controlling Gaming Addiction, find the real reason why you’re playing it?
Is it satisfying you?, Are you extremely good at it? Are you proving to someone or yourself by playing it more?, Do these games provide you with essential services like Money, House, Food etc? Or it’s just passing your time and making you believe that you’re doing something?
Whatever may be the answer yours but you need to understand that a game is just a game (which is not real and it won’t ever be) It’s just an artificial world created with some computer bots inside it. If you play often it would just make you a good gamer. You would achieve only achievements that are artificially created.
Concerning your health your behavior may drastically change, slows your brain growth – (Proved Scientifically), You will generate eye problems as well as Insomnia.
In the real-world all these don’t matter, Only thing matters are to focus on your career, your goals and live a happy healthy life. No one is going to remember you as a hardcore gamer so stop wasting time and focus on important things in your life.
Should we quit playing games to cure Gaming Addiction?
Hell no, there are major benefits of playing games such as Improve concentration, problem-solving skills, Enhances memory, Quick decision power, Enhances multitasking skill and much more. But a time limit must be framed without compromising goals, day to day work and the most precious thing health. If you think that your daily goals and all your pending work is completed and have time to play the game without compromising sleep.
You may proceed to play.
Even if the control thing doesn’t help you and you want to permanently get rid of a specific game then you can try my way.
How to Stop any Video Game Addiction?
Referring to a scenario of mine: I’ve played many games such as Cs 1.6, NFS, GTA, Pocket tanks, PUBG. I used to play Cs 1.6 daily 1-to 1,1/5 hour during my teenage. But I never felt like I’m getting addicted to it. My friends used to play Clash of Clans daily whereas I knew the game is really addictive and I should stay away from it.
I used to hang up with my friends every day and every day they use to play Clash of Clans. Hearing of the game every day almost after 6 months I gave it a try, knowing that it’s addictive then too I tried.
Now the beauty of this game is it’s time-synchronized (you need to be aware of when you’re items are ready to update, when to attack and much more things)
You can play it with your friends, You need to loot, attack and win and create your base with the points you get.
So I was following the rules of the game and I started getting addicted to it. Even if there was not necessary to loot, attack or build items, I would simply open the game and try to do some tweaks such as updating or watching clans bases etc.
One day when I realize it’s consuming my time and I’m losing many things for this game I decided to quit.
But the quit part didn’t help me because the data was connected to Facebook and a simple uninstall won’t work. Whenever I tried to quit, I use to reinstall my phone and the game data was back again.
As I knew the problem was not being solved. One day I configured my account settings and found that my id have Facebook connected to it. So I de-linked my Facebook email from the game and deleted COC activity on my Facebook Data.
That’s it after restricting access from the Facebook only thing I needed to do is Uninstall Clash of Clans. Boom the data that was not synchronized will never be back again. And no one would dare again to start upgrading items of the game from Scratch.
So That’s how I stopped Video Game addiction
The whole motive of this example was to cut the source from the roots and you wouldn’t dare again to earn artificial achievements by wasting your time. Although it doesn’t matter that at what platform you’re playing If it’s a STEAM or G arena registered game, change your account details to your friend’s id and tell him to never share any OTP or passwords that he gets on Email. Try this it’ll really help.
That was all for Gaming, let’s talk about Social Media addiction
6 Effective ways to stop Social Media Addiction:-
- Whenever you’re online on any Social Media platform just keep the recording or note the things that you’re doing while being online. Once you exit the platform, read the following things that you’ve written and ask a simple question to yourself was it worthy? Did your likes, sharing post gave you anything important or just a false satisfaction think about it carefully and remember these things while you visit it next time.
- Remove Mobile applications that are disturbing you, Instagram, Facebook can be accessed via Website login. This would help you to avoid instant notifications and will force you to read notifications only when you browse the website.
- Disable notifications: – Trust me on this with a ratio of 101% this trick will always work. Even if you’re willing to keep any of the Social media apps, Disable every notification of it so that while doing your regular work you won’t be disturbed and all the notifications will be blocked. You can also disable background access to the applications which will prevent auto-opening of the application.
- Remember sometimes when you have pending work but no mood of completing it, WE convince ourselves to do things that are easy (But for obvious browsing an app is easier for passing time than completing any of your work) So find a reason to never stay alone and lonely. Find any sort of work even if it’s easy, hard and boring and try to do it. As after successfully completing that task, it will encourage you to do another task and this loop can continue and won’t allow you to browse Social Media. Even if you fail after trying something such as repairing an object, At least you’ll gain some sort of experience.
- Stop uploading as well as viewing anyone’s story, Remember no one gives a shit about it. No one really cares about what you’re uploading and where you’re roaming. Instead, record it and keep them to you. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Whenever you upload any sort of image, location all this data is collected by the company and then it’s targeted on you in form of an AD.
In the end, the Account formula will definitely work, Remove access to your personal email-id through which you sign in and submit a different email maybe your parents, Change your default password and let your parents set it for you. If you feel the urge to view the content pick one weekend or a date whichever you want and promise yourself to logout after an hour. And keep your next login on next month. This might be difficult but will 100% work.
Alternative things you can do to completely stop Social Media Addiction:-
- Read books:- Trust me reading a book is one of the best ways to pass time and learn new things. If you can’t afford to buy a book use Google playbooks and read free books that are available. Maximum books will hardly cost you less than 1$. If you want to buy you can also read a free sample on Google Playbooks. Reading a book will Strengthen the brain Builds vocabulary, Reduces stress and Most important thing It will increase your imagination. It will be more beneficial if you read from a hard copy as it won’t affect your eyesight.
- You can also try reading a newspaper as it will keep you updated on what’s going on.
- Workout:- Maintain your health and body by working out daily, It will boost your stamina, make you feel happier, Peaceful sleep, Improves circulation of blood and It will help you to lose weight if you want.
- Try to engage in any activity and don’t be lonely.
How to stop Binge Watching Addiction:-
Binge-watching is a trend from the western side, Where an individual watches a show for hours until he completes it. The same culture is currently being adopted in India as well. Probably at weekends many of them sit with their phone and watch some OTT content for hours. It’s not about whether we like the content or not but we’ll watch anything to pass the time.
So How to stop Binge watching addiction?
Remember the goal is not to stop watching the content forever but to watch within the limit. Also don’t go for watching anything that’s beyond your liking, find some content related to the stream you work in or where you can gain knowledge that may help you somewhere.
Things to know before choosing a TV show.
- Before choosing a show read something about it, check it’s the trailer and then decides whether you’re up for it or not? Or wait for a week and get the real reviews and then watch it
- If you don’t like the story drop it at the same moment.
- Don’t follow the trend of watching every TV show, This will make a habit and then it will lead to addiction.
- There are many things included in a TV show such as Violence, Nudity, Consumption of drugs and many more.
- IF you think it’s not suitable for you. Don’t proceed.
- Even if you pick a suitable TV show make sure you watch it in breaks like half an hour a day that too after completing your work.
- Breaks will make you more curious to watch what’s next after you complete your work on the next day.
A most important reason why should quit binge watching and watch it at the limit?
Almost 400 crores of users use a computer for a day to day work, And the average time he spends on screen is 6 – 7 hours. And the average time spent on mobile is almost 2.30 to 3 hours per day Globally.
The Average time to spend on Screen is 1 hour on a weekday and 3 hours on weekends, And how much time do we spend? Probably 8,9 ??
More screen time will cause us eye-related problems such:-
Below things are disadvantages of Binge-Watching
- Blurred vision
- Computer vision syndrome
- dry eyes
- Mood swings
So Remember these consequences before binge-watching and try to protect your eyes by avoiding watching unwanted things.
So That was all for major types of Smartphone addiction which should be definitely controlled to avoid consequences of it. The technology of a Smartphone has it’s own advantages and disadvantages both. It totally depends upon us how we utilize it and get the best of it.
The mobile phone was made to be controlled by human and not the other way. Try to figure out your goals and run behind them. Social media, Games, TV Shows are a part of our life and not your life. The above methods to get rid of Smartphone addiction needs good control of your mind. IF you’re lacking this control a 20 min video based on
How to control the mind, Negative thoughts and attraction by Shrimad Bhagawad Geeta will help you to build strong control on every decision of your life.
You can view all episodes of Shri Krishna here
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NOTE: None of the applications are responsible for your smartphone addiction, It’s always you who has a choice of using it or not. The article doesn’t intend to defame any of the applications of products written in the article above.
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