6 Ways Your Smartphone is Negatively Affecting Your Life

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Contributes to FOMO

A recent study reveals that 73% of people suffer from the constant urge to check their smartphone indicating how FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real and does exist. In fact, there’s no one who can proudly say that they’ve never gotten hooked too the life online and wished to have the same!

It’s easy to get caught up looking at people’s online world while getting trapped in the FOMO hole. Although comparing oneself to others is not a new concept to the world, the emotional damage has intensified with the rise of social media over the years. Likewise, one just cannot help but compare their own lives to the lives displayed online.

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Causes sleep issues

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Research has found that using your smartphone before going to bed makes falling asleep difficult due to the blue light emitted by digital devices. Our sleep schedule is also affected in other ways such as dealing with negativity or social media or reactions to controversial topics.

One keeps thinking about the last reel, that story or that attractive post, or upsetting news. The mind goes spiraling from one item to another making it all the more difficult to calm your tiring nerves after a long day at work. It has been recommended to cut any type of onscreen time at least one hour before going to bed.

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Replaces in-person communication

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In this smartphone era, people often expect you to be digitally connected 24/7 and to get back to them instantly, especially with email and social media read receipts. More than often, it is unrealistic and becomes problematic when one party has the 24/7 availability mindset and the other does not stick to it.

Nowadays, some people choose to have deep discussions and fights via texting instead of in-person conversations as a result of which conflict arises, from ending relationships to having heated arguments. Social media platforms are designed to encourage more digital interaction and less in-person ones, though we alone determine whether or not we get trapped into this mindset.

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Ruins romantic relationships

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The smartphone can often prove to be damaging people’s romantic relationships in more ways than one. It’s so frustrating when the person you’re on a date with keeps looking at their phone more than they do at you. Such behavior sends a message that their phone is more significant than their partner, as a result of which the partner could feel unappreciated and eventually could look for someone else who values their time and company. It is saddening to see that some couples spend more time engaged on their phones than with their significant other. This whole behavior takes a toll on their level of intimacy.

As humans, we crave the warmth of our partner’s embrace and psychologically benefit from spending physical time with loved ones in real-life scenarios. Most of the time, such intimate experiences just cannot be attained while communicating through digital media. In many ways, digital communication alters our comfort levels with direct and honest communication which inevitably affects our relationship in a negative way, since important discussions should be done in person or, at the very least, over the phone so as to avoid misunderstandings.

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Affects mental health and self-esteem

Undoubtedly, living in a competitive world leads to huge pressure affecting a person’s mental and physical health. Many people tend to become moody and irritable when they are not using their phones. Any momentary abstinence from the phone, even while it’s charging, might trigger a sense of irritation. Obsessively checking your phone the minute it pings or constantly refreshing your Instagram feed after posting a picture, to see the number of likes is some of the examples that indicate the adverse impact of smartphones on our self-esteem.

More than often, smartphones lead to mental lethargy. For example, instead of calculating in your head the next time you are splitting a restaurant bill with friends, you may just use your phone calculator. Research has shown that smartphone use can slow down your thinking process and excessive use may also lead to depression, hence decreasing your overall well-being.

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Happiness might just be a detox away

It’s a fact that over 70% of people tend to be happier when they’re taking a short break from their phones or are temporarily switching off their phones. It would be wise to actually practice a few hours of phone detox every now and then. No tech or gadget can replace the importance of friends and family, the need to unwind and spend quality time with them.

Taking a break from the phone will diminish the sense of guilt that comes with meaninglessly using your smartphone all the time aimlessly. This affects relationship dynamics between you and your loved ones, making one feel rather unproductive at the end of the day.

Sloww Happiness 201

Further reading:

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Shreya Paul
Moody, Floaty, Fire & DESIRE!

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