Life Is Most Precious

Digital Addiction breaking apart the Network of Relationships.

Digital addiction is a serious mental health issue impacting lakhs of people all over the world.  From poor sleep quality to heightened levels of stress, anxiety and depression smartphone addiction can take a huge toll. Users need to be aware of the potential issues associated with the use of smartphones so that they can identify, manage, and overcome if any compulsive habit pattern develops.

From merely being a thing that facilitates our communication needs, mobile phones, especially after the introduction of smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. In today’s digital age, smart phones provide us with instant connectivity, access to information, and endless entertainment possibilities. As per the latest data, an Indian spends close to 5 hours a day on his mobile phones regularly as per the ‘State of Mobile 2023’ report by data.ai (formerly App Annie) However, the increasing use of mobile phones has raised concerns about their impact on physical and mental health of the individuals. This amount of time being spent on mobile phones is alarming as thousands of people are falling into the trap of mobile addiction.

The heavy users get so addicted that they suffer from what is known as NOMOPHOBIA (no mobile phone phobia), a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from their mobile phones. In my interaction with clients, I  found if people are kept away from their mobile phones for long, they often manifest anxiety, restlessness and even aggressive behavioural patterns; harming others and themselves. One of the major reasons for any addiction is the relentless pursuit of pleasure and we live in a culture that encourages us to pursue it by offering a humongous amount of choice and novelty.  For anyone who gets hooked, the aim is to increase the level of dopamine(a neurotransmitter in the brain that activates pleasure), however, when it reaches saturation, one keeps on increasing the dosage of addiction, in the case of mobile phones screen time on mobile phones keeps on enhancing. However, ultimately the person ends up feeling mentally dejected and physically worn out.

During the counselling sessions it has also been observed that heavy mobile usage is found to be the tipping point for individuals who are hooked on too much on their mobile phones to exhibit other forms of extreme compulsive behaviour like online shopping, indulgence in gambling, news overdose, watching pornography, spending hours on social media and video games.

Youth is primarily affected, however, housewives, businessmen, working class and even children are found to be confronting severe device addiction. Children as young as 5 years old show aggressive behaviour if they are deprived of mobile phones. Parents often leniently allow their kids to use smartphones so that they are not disturbed by their children and this leads to gradual addiction.  The electromagnetic waves affect the child’s physical health- loss of eyesight and appetite, irritation, loneliness, headache and memory loss.

Mobile addiction is also negatively impacting the network of human relationships. People are spending more time surfing on their mobile phones which is disturbing closeness and warmth in family ties.

Common Physical effects

Muscle pain
Stiffness on the neck, hands and fingers
Insomnia and Headache
Lack of Self Confidence
Memory loss
Irritation and Aggression
Loneliness
Emotional Imbalance
Loss of eyesight

 

Ways to Curb the Addiction

Pursuing Hobbies
Doing Yoga and or a physical workout regime
Socializing offline; personal meetings
Involving oneself in an endeavour to contribute to society
Parents should help children with homework
Communicate one’s feelings with family and friends
Maintain a routine lifestyle
Don’t start or end your day using smartphones
Encourage children to play outdoor games
Exploring new places – Travelling

 

Mobile phones are not all evil; the key to not getting addicted lies in regulating their usage and keeping track of the time spent on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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