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Technology has become an integral part of everyday life in the 21st century. But, while on the one hand technology makes people’s lives easier, overusing modern technology can lower our quality of life. Excessive use of computers and smartphones, and especially spending too much time on social media, can seriously endanger our physical and mental health.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in 2017%, 43% of Americans reported checking social media constantly, and 20% said social media is a source of stress. It is also found that interacting with social media can trigger a dopamine response in the brain, similar to that triggered by drug or alcohol use, which can make people more addicted.
Want to hear some more? On a typical day (or day off from work for those who are employed), 65 percent of American adults say they often or constantly check personal email, 52 percent and 44 percent say the same about texts and social media, respectively, and 28 percent (of those employed) report the same about their work email. Constant checkers express feeling disconnected from their family, even when they are together, as a result of technology.
It seems that spending so much time online can seriously take us away from the real world and make our lives even more stressful. If you find yourself spending too much time online, here's how to beat your addiction:
Track the time you’re spending online
If you like interesting apps, you will be delighted to hear that there is an application that can help you reduce your time on social networks. One of the best apps in iOS is Screen Time. This app touts two major social media usages: Tracking and Limiting.
Thanks to Screen Time, you’ll be able to find out on the amount of time you've spent on your screen every day. This is a great way to see how much time you’re spending online and whether you should take a break. There are also applications that act as an alarm. Set a limit on the hours you can spend online each day and the app will activate an alarm when you exceed the limit.
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Remember that excessive screen use can damage your health
Whenever you think you're spending too much time online but just can't stop, remember that excessive screen use can damage your health. Spending even several hours in front of a computer/smartphone screen represents a great risk for your health.
Also, if you extend this duration, then the risk of physical and emotional stress become greater. That’s not all. Spending too much time online leads to the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, and less sleep. Besides, you may get “computer vision syndrome.” The symptoms: strained, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. See? It’s high time to take a break.
You’ll be able to sleep better
Poor sleep quality is related to how much time you spend online. As you may have heard, exposure to blue light (emitted by computers and smartphones), makes it difficult to fall asleep because it blocks a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy.
And now, pay attention to this, Americans spend an average of 7 hours a day on electronic devices according to surveys. Besides, nine out of 10 Americans admit to reaching for an electronic device at least several nights each week shortly before bedtime. That’s exactly what causes sleeping issues and insomnia.
Don’t check your phone immediately after waking up
Yeah, many of us wake up and immediately scroll through social media instead of reading newspaper or exercising. Can you imagine how much time you’re losing on checking someone else’s life each morning instead of doing something for yourself? That’s a complete waste of time. First, focus on yourself to start the day the right way. Have a shower, make a cup of coffee, do your skincare routine, and then check your phone.
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“No Phones at The Table" rule
It may sound crazy but today people keep phones on the table while eating or even carry them to the toilet. It's all an addiction that people don't even notice, but accept as something normal. If you are used to doing this, make yourself stop. Just stick to one rule: no smartphones allowed at the table!
Phones are primarily full of bacteria and it is not hygienic to keep them near food, which is especially dangerous now during a coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the phone can wait, enjoy a meal with family or friends.
Be aware of how social media can affect your mental health
Spending too much time on social media can seriously endanger your health. Social media is responsible for a consistent rise in depression in young people from all over the world. Young people, especially teens, could see the ‘perfect life’ of others on Instagram and feel worse about their own. This can lead not only to depression but to negative feelings such as hatred, jealousy, and envy.
Multiple studies have shown that social media is responsible for new kinds of violence such as cyber bullying and trolling. According to The UK’s Royal Society for Public Health survey, Instagram and other social networks are associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying, and a “fear of missing out (FOMO).” The participants in this study had also a negative body image of themselves and poor sleep habits.
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Find new hobbies and activities
Finding a new hobby and interesting activities can distract you from the phone. A new hobby can also make you happier and improve the quality of your life. Take a break from social media by being creative. You can paint, create graphics, read books, make origami, play a new board game, cook some delicious meals, or anything that makes you creative.
This way you’ll be able to spend quality time and improve your skills. BREO BOX fall subscription box can help you to take a break from online life! This subscription box is full of unique products and the best gadgets this fall, prepared especially to attract your attention. You can discover the latest tech, home goods, fitness products, and more to enhance your lifestyle!
Spend a whole day without Internet
If you think you’re ready, try to spend a whole day without the Internet. Use your smartphone only to call someone if you have to. Turn off notifications and don’t check social media. It’s okay to feel nervous and stressed about it because it’s not going to be easy at all. If this seems impossible to you, try to gradually, day by day, lower the amount of time you spend online. Take this recommendation as a test to see how much you’re addicted to online life.