Social Media–A Modern Addiction
There is no denying that smart technology has changed our daily lives. We have access to everything: tomorrow’s weather forecast, restaurant menus, even our favourite TV shows right in our pocket! But for all the entertainment and ease new technology adds to our lives, there is a downside. Many of us have become addicted to our technology.
I became addicted to my smartphone as I approached burnout. In burnout, I was becoming emotionally depleted, withdrawn and unsatisfied with work. Social media temporarily gave an emotional buzz, a false sense of connection with the 1000+ FB friends, and an inflated sense of value as I posted the best moment.
Smart phones can make us sicker and dumber
We’ve all seen the symptoms. The couple in the restaurant who barely speak to each other because they are too busy texting, kids who have trouble making eye contact and normal conversation because they spend so much time on social media, people who can’t even watch TV without scrolling through their phones.
This addiction often flies under the radar because it seems like the ramifications aren’t that serious, but Dr. Archibald Hart founder of the school of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary believes that the consequences of this addiction are very serious. He says that our use of technology is even rewiring our brains, affecting our overall IQ, decreasing empathy, people skills, emotional aptitude and builds a need for instant gratification. Frequent use has been proven to add to anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD and even can lead to obesity and heart disease, due to less time spent outdoors. Check out Arch Hart message on this. It also makes people around you feel unheard and unvalued as if you’d rather be elsewhere. Studies have shown that connection is reduced twenty percent when a smartphone is placed between two people.
What’s difficult about our use of technology and social media is that it can be so hard to escape, especially with Covid-19 keeping us in the house. We really have to intentionally manage our use.
Here are a few ways to handle social media in a healthy way:
- Check your checking – how many times do you check your phone during the day?
- Set time limits – for every 90 minutes of use take a 10-minute break.
- Try a digital fast – have digital-free fun.
- Disconnect to reconnect – have tech-free time every day.
- Have digital-free dates.
- Turn off notification when engaging in other things like meals and work.