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I just read in the New York Times this week about more problems with cell phones…this time how usage affects manners and moods:

“The problem of looking at our devices nonstop is both social and physiological.”

“75 percent of Americans believe their smartphone usage doesn’t impact their ability to pay attention in a group setting, according to the Pew Research Center, and about a third of Americans believe that using phones in social settings actually contributes to the conversation.”

This cannot be true. We live in a delusional world and I am definitely guilty of falling into that trap as well.

In addition, the hunched posture we use when reading our cell phones can contribute to depression yet most people aren’t dealing with that either:

“Posture has been proven to affect mood, behavior and memory, and frequent slouching can make us depressed, according to the National Center for Biotechnology InformationThe way we stand affects everything from the amount of energy we have to bone and muscle development, and even the amount of oxygen our lungs can take in. Body language, perceptions of weakness versus power — it’s all real”.

Apparently as a culture we can change our behaviors but we are choosing not to because the risks don’t appear to be great enough.

We all know after 50 it’s hard to change and the biggest motivation to make change is because we NEED to. Apparently the pleasure from our cell phones is far outweighing our perceived risks.

But is that an accurate assessment?

For me, my cell phone addiction does have an adverse affect on socialization at certain times and I have been told to “put it away.” I’m usually relieved when someone says that to me, because the habit is so profound, I’m not all that conscious of the number of times I have picked it up during a conversation.

I wrote about this problem back in November of 2012, and 6 years later it’s still an issue.

I reread my piece and decided it’s time to try some of my own advice– AGAIN!

They say the first thing to do if you have an addiction is admit it. Ok, I admit it. I am addicted to my Iphone. My kids have called me out and tell me I’m worse than a millennial. My husband has told me that there are 3 in our relationship and the “other” is getting way too much attention.

I have plenty of excuses. My kids both live on the west coast and any little ding on my phone gets checked as it could be them. But if it’s not them, I cannot resist reading the text anyway.

Can you let me know if you have any other suggestions. I could use the help.

Step 1: Admit you have a problem.

Step 2: Recognize that you are in charge of your phone.

Step 3: Take a walk with a friend and exchange your phones. Should your phone ring, your friend may not answer it–just suffer through it.

Step 4: Take a walk WITHOUT your cell phone–leave it at home.

Step 5: Get up in the morning and brush your teeth before you look at your phone. The message will be there after you brush your teeth.

Step 6: Turn your phone off when having sex. Your partner may really appreciate that.

Step 7: Bring a magazine to the bathroom instead of your smart phone.

Step 8:  Start a meal off with focus–turn off your smart phone during the meal.

Good luck. Congratulations–you may be on the road to recovery!

Still Addicted: Confessions of A Cell Phone Addict was last modified: by

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