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No, you're probably not 'addicted' to your smartphone - but you might use it too much

http://theconversation.com/no-youre-probably-not-addicted-to-your-smartphone-but-you-might-use-it-too-much-89853

theconversation.com

No, you're probably not 'addicted' to your smartphone - but you might use it too much
The term "addiction" is often bandied about when we think someone spends too much time on something we deem detrimental to their health and well-being. From checking our phones repetitively, to playing with specific apps and texting, the modern culprit is excessive smartphone use.

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Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone Addiction

There are about two billion smartphone users in the world, who check their devices on an average 85 times a day.

Checking your smartphone repeatedly is normally assumed as being addicted, especially in the younger age groups.

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Not Really an Addiction

Not Really an Addiction

While being glued to smartphones may look like addiction, for most people it is just a behavior pattern, a habit that can be broken.

A set of people may be having a fixation with checking specific apps on the smartphone, like a gambling site or pornography.

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Addiction Defined

Addiction Defined

The World Health Organization defines addiction as physical and behavioral dependence on a substance.

An addiction can create psychological harm and many social problems with family and friends

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Obsessive Behaviour, Not Addiction

Obsessive Behaviour, Not Addiction
  • A smartphone is less of a real addiction and more of an obsessive behavior.
  • We get small 'dopamine' hits in our brains, every time we see a social media like or something that provides us with a reward.
  • We often use our smartphones as a weapon against boredom in public transport and boring tasks.

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The Pleasure Center

The Pleasure Center

Social media rewards, like the number of views, comments or likes, engage us deeper into the virtual world, providing a sense of enjoyment via the 'dopamine' hits on the brain's pleasure center.

Social media occupies an average of 50% of the time spent each day with our smartphones.

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On the Verge of Addiction

Smartphones may be on the verge of being an addiction for some people, but over time it will become less of a problem as the society will adjust to it, just like it did with computers.

We need to address the compulsive usage of youngsters if their activities are potentially time-wasting or can cause psychological or other health issues in the long run.

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Not backed up by science

Not backed up by science

While popular, researchers say there is a serious lack of evidence to back up mindfulness apps, even though they are increasingly perceived as proven treatments for mental health. 

Seeking scientific validation

A handful of studies have been published on the efficacy of mindfulness apps, thanks in part to Headspace, one of the most popular apps in the field. In hopes of getting its app scientifically validated, the organization has partnered on more than 60 studies with 35 academic institutions. In the meantime, in lieu of research proving that apps work, marketers tend to draw misleading, but attractive claims.

The paradox of mindfulness apps

Mindfulness disrupts unhelpful habits. If you get distracted easily or have addictions, mindfulness helps curb these habits. But, in contrast, apps become popular and profitable by getting users lightly addicted to repetitive use. So, can an app really treat addiction, or is it inherently part of the problem? As of now, we don’t know the answer to that question.

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Different types of "shopaholics"

  • Compulsive shoppers: Buying when they are feeling emotional distress.
  • Trophy shoppers: They are always looking for the next great item.
  • ...

Socially acceptable

Shopping can be socially acceptable because consumerism is continually pushed on us in the forms of posters, adverts, and signs.

Shopping is also a way of life: You need food and clothing from stores. Even if you try to stop compulsive buying by avoiding the stores in person, there is still a world of online shopping.

Addiction vs compulsion

Addiction describes trying something, becoming emotionally and physically dependent on it, and then becoming psychologically and physically addicted to it. People who struggle with addiction have explained feeling euphoric, elevated, happy, complete, and whole when they partake in their addiction. Compulsion refers to a specific, intense urge to do something. People who struggle with a compulsion explain feeling immense relief and relaxation from completing behaviors that they feel compelled to do.

Digital minimalism

This philosophy is guided by the idea that we should be in control over what kinds of media we consume, not have our habits dictated to us by technology.

This applies to the office as ...

Taking Leisure Seriously

Instead of defaulting into the low-quality obsessions that leave us wondering where the time has gone, we should cultivate high-quality hobbies that lead to lasting satisfaction.

Re-evaluate your relationship to technology:
  • First allow for a period of abstinence.
  • Follow this by a selective re-introduction of only those tools and technologies that pass a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis than you typically impose.

Addiction and Modernity

They go hand-in-hand.

Addiction seems to be the inevitable consequence of our culturally-created environment changing faster than our biologically-hardwired brains.