Yeah…. It’s not what you might 🤔 think!
I have this vision of me getting up in front of a full room, – sweaty palms, lump in my throat, heart racing, saying: “My name is Susanne McAllister” and I am ……a nomophobic! If your mind is a little like mind, you might be smiling to yourself now and thinking “phhhh so what” and if your not sure what I am talking about, please read on – it has something to do with “mobile phones” ! Of course, you are right in a way, there are so many worse things one could be addicted to. We have the categories of substances, like: “alcohol, drugs, junk food, sugar, etc.” and the non-substance categories like “attention, sex, porn, shopping, drama, stuff”.
There is a new kid on the block that has been classified as a real “phobia”. It’ s called ‘nomophobia’ — the fear of not being able to access or use your mobile phone. Nomophobia is becoming more widespread, which is a scary thought. So, what is the problem checking one’s phone too often? Is it even a problem? It’s not that I am alone, my teenage daughter is even worse than me and I keep telling her to switch off and get some sleep!
I did some research and the figures have been shocking:
The link between anxiety and depression and phone over use is real and scary! Research showsthat teenagers who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide!
As a health and wellness coach, I help people to reach their potential mind, body and spirit. When we address our fears, there is always a valuable lesson and a better way forward. Often our fears and addictions are caused by “non-real connections” as I like to call it. What it means is, not being connected, face to face with a real person that gives us undivided attention and vice versa.
Our mobile phone addiction robs us of our sleep and that in itself, is a cause for the raise in mental illness and suicide. According to the journal Sleep Medicine, in 2015, 4 out of 10 teens slept less than seven hours a night. That’s up 58 percent since 1991 and 17 percent more than in 2009, when mobile phone use became more mainstream.
How long do you spend on your phone actually? According to research from the media analytics company comScore, the average American adult spent approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes on their phone every single day in 2017! This is serious addictive behaviour that is also altering our brain chemistry! And this is not a joke! It gets harder and harder for us to focus and concentrate. Our memory retention has gotten worse since doing most of our reading online. This is reality because the cluttered landscape of links and ads and the short bursts of attention that you need for scrolling and swiping makes us loose our ability to intensely focus on one thing! And focusing undisturbed on one thing brings us deeper and deeper into a state of creativity and bliss! All gone with your phone in your hand!
And what about “Phubbing”?
Yes, that is a really annoying “thing” and I am sure you will agree with me in a moment. Phubbing comes from “phone-snubbing”. It is when someone has to casually check her phone while you’re talking! When friends or family members do this, I feel they are not respecting me, which of course would be just sad and brings a whole lot of other issues up. I might be wondering “if what I have to say is so boring or uninteresting”. I consider this as so rude, so I wouldn’t do that, but I do think about picking up my phone during a conversation.
Is there hope for you and me and our kids?
To be honest, it won’t be easy! But there are a few things I can put in place to control myself. I can only be a good role model and hope that this will affect my other family members too.
Here is what I am going to do:
- One hour before bedtime – switch all devices off
- No devices in my bedroom! No TV or phone or laptop! Alarm clocks are still a thing, or I can set my phone on loud so I can hear it in the bedroom.
- I am going to download an app called “moment” which will show me how much I use my phone!
- I already have a good routine when I get up in the morning, which includes meditation, movement, mindfulness before phone time! So, I am happy with that.
- I will ask myself “what do I really long for” when I reach for my phone, if it’s connection, then I will “call” and have a proper chat!
- I am going to spend more time in nature – I never feel like even touching my phone when I am outside.
Having told you about this, will keep me accountable too and I hope you got something out of this article for your own life. If you didn’t know before, you are quite aware now that this is a serious problem in all of society and it won’t get better unless we are aware. We deserve to be happy, healthy and strong and phone overuse and our addiction’s to “likes” truly damages our well-being.
Florida State University. (2017, November 30). Excessive screen time linked to suicide risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171130170212.htm
Susanne McAllister is a Health and Wellness Coach, Mindfulness Teacher, Speaker and Author that is passionate about helping women to stress less, weigh less and love their body’s more. She has been published in a variety of holistic health magazines Her newest book, Stop Chasing Shadows – With The Power of Inner Connection and Live an Abundant and Meaningful Lifelooks at ways you can improve relationships and find peace and contentment in life. This book will be published in May 2018 by Beacon publishing group.
In her spare time, Susanne teaches and dances Nia, sings, reads and loves taking long walks, especially at the beach.
You can contact Susanne McAllister at
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