As technology advances, it’s only natural that we become more dependent. As human beings, we assimilate to the instant gratification of knowing what’s going on in the world, or for the right price, the ease of never having to vacuum again. But have you been to a restaurant lately and seen “that couple”? They’re both sitting there on their phones, looking at the world beyond the person who’s sitting right in front of them.
Is technology is making us miss out on the world that’s right in front of our faces? The reality is, it could be keeping us from developing deeper interconnected relationships with people we encounter. Here are some warning signs you may need a Digital-Detox, and how to get back to building connection with others.
The thought of losing your phone makes you uneasy. Well, “Nomophobia” is a thing. A study done in the UK in 2010 coined the term: no-mobile-phone phobia= Nomophobia; and research shows that 66% of adults legitimately suffer from anxiety in being away from, or losing their phones.
You sleep with your phone and check it during meals. You may be suffering from real life, FOMO (or, Fear of Missing Out). If you find yourself checking your Facebook or Instagram whilst sitting at a dinner table or cocktails with your friends, you may want to ask yourself what you’re really missing out on.
You bring your smartphone in the bathroom. And not because you don’t want your partner snooping through your texts, but because you can’t imagine being without some entertainment.
You answer your phone during intimate partner moments. 34% of people have admitted to answering a phone-call or text while getting it on, or in the midst of a heated argument.
If you said yes to any of the above statements, you may want to consider scaling back your screen-time and focusing on the world around you.
Start small: commit to at least leaving your phone in your purse or pocket during meal-times. Or even crazier, consider turning it off!
Give yourself a curfew: try a new #TBT to your younger years and commit to putting your phone to bed a few hours before you head off to zzzz…land.
Keep it far away: consider putting your phone at least 15 feet away from you when you go to bed. This may cause a small walk to hit snooze in the morning, but it’ll keep you safe from yourself!
Take a vacation: if you feel really connected to your phone, and need a super detox, try turning if off… for. a. whole. day. (Keep your responsibilities in mind on this one though. And don’t be compelled to do a status-update about it…).
If it gets really bad, seek support. Is there something keeping you from connecting with the people around you, or your partner? Sometimes we all need a little extra support, and NorthStar Counseling Center is here to help!