When you hear your text tone, do you instinctively reach for your smartphone to read what someone texted you immediately? Go on admit it, you do! Studies show that the average person looks at their smart device every 15 minutes or more even when they do not hear the pavlovian “ding”. On average, teenagers look at their phone 150 times per day! Why? What are you really going to miss?
It’s time to tune in instead of out, our physical and mental health depend upon it.
Who’s Controlling Who
Ever since the smart device has become integral to day-to-day life, actions associated with phones and tablets now trigger the pleasure sensors in the brain. As far back at 2012, scientists have discovered that dopamine is released in the human brain when a person reads and responds to a text message, social media post and/or email. These actions are processed as accomplished goals, releasing this pleasure neurotransmitter in our brain. So, medically we are driven to repeat the same action, over and over, as much as possible.
This leads us to ask, who’s controlling who? Are we really controlling our smart device or is the smart device controlling us? Spooky. However, the constant “tuning out” by constantly “tuning into” our mobile device is damaging our physical and psychological well being.
Break the Habit
The smart device addiction is rampant, with no sign of slowing down. Make no mistake, we are a 24/7/365 society, but at what cost? According to PC Magazine, there are 11 good reasons to stop our dependence on our digital devices.
Some include damage to eyes and/or hands, dangerous driving, poor sleep, stress inhibitor and hallucination (e.g. “phantom pocket vibration syndrome”). Who wants to check their pocket for a phantom vibration all day long. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop being the rude dinner date with the never-ending need to “send a quick text” or check the in-box for a work email.
Break the habit by adopting the following techniques to stop feeding your addiction to the glowing screen in your pocket, bag or purse:
- Turn off or opt out of push notifications
- Do not use during meal time
- Ban mobile devices from the bedroom
- Use a safe driver app or “do not disturb while driving” setting
- Set aside a specific block of time during the day to review social channels (start by checking three times a day, then two, then one)
- Remove addictive apps (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Candy Crush) from the home screen of the device
It might seem impossible, so take baby steps to tune back into your life. Begin by taking note (perhaps with a log) when you reach for a hand-held device. You might be surprised how much time is spent doing so.
Trust me, there really isn’t a legitimate reason to check your tablet or phone every fifteen minutes. If there is a real emergency, your phone will RING not vibrate, chime, chirp or play a catchy tune. So, put it away and look someone in the eye and speak to them one on one today. Better yet, take a time out with a deep breath to look around what’s going around you. You never know what you are missing until you tune in instead of out.
About Fun Team Building
Participate in fun and energizing team building activities that turbo-charge morale, teach respect, and build trust. Fun Team Building’s Larry Lipman understands the importance of tuning into one another. He can help your team build the right environment to support it. Contact Larry or give him a call at 770.333.3303 today!