A break-up with your gadget could be the disconnection you need to reconnect with your life and loved ones. Learn more about the benefits of going on a gadget detox here.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Potential serious relationship conflict due to excessive device usage
- Two possible reasons why people spend too much time on device
- Gadget detox – 5 Tips to break up with a device and reconnect with loved ones
We’re now living in the digital age. So much of our lives now depend on being online and using social media. Suffice to say, we just cannot function normally without our mobile phones.
But while one cannot argue that our phones and gadgets are important in our daily lives, there comes a point when the user is too dependent on them that it can already become destructive.
Potential serious relationship conflict due to excessive device usage
Niro Feliciano, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist in Connecticut relayed a very important message that a lot of parents can relate to. She is a wife and a mother who unconsciously got hooked and distracted by her phone. Both her children and husband have complained about her gadget addiction.
“I remember the moment my husband, Ed, told me he was jealous of my phone,” she said.
She thought that her husband was joking about her excessive phone usage. However, upon looking at her husband, she realized that he was earnest about what he said.
“My phone seemed to have become the third person in the relationship,” she added.
It was the exact moment when she realized that she spends most of her precious hours with her gadgets. Instead of making time with her family, Niro would “waste time on meaningless cat videos, recipe time lapses, and Amazon carts.”
Her kids would even tell her, “Get off your phone!”
Her husband and kids feel frustrated with having a distracted parent and spouse on a device.
And it’s not uncommon to have parents so glued to their devices. In fact, it got so common that researchers are pointing to excessive gadget use as one of the key drivers of children’s attitudes.
Studies say parents’ smartphone use during family time can be attributed to kids misbehaving, whining, sulking, and tantrum-throwing due to feeling invalidated.
Despite the negative effects that too much exposure to gadgets have on people, many are still struggling with setting boundaries around device time every day.
But what makes spending time on our devices so addictive?
Two possible reasons why people spend too much time on device
It gives us pleasure
The hormone dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, which is sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It is also a big part of the uniquely human ability to think and plan.
Our devices provide a plethora of new information that, when discovered, release dopamine which solidifies a pleasure-and-reward feedback loop reinforcing whatever behaviour triggered it in the first place.
The sense of belongingness and validation are basic human needs that people often get on social media. An individual could often experience it through likes and comments on their social media account.
Do you wonder why it seems like you can never stop scrolling on your social media feed? It’s because social media algorithms now exist, through which the best of our interest keeps appearing on our feed.
It’s a form of escape
People’s lives become busier and busier as they age. On the other hand, devices are very accessible and easy to use. When you’re stressed at work or with household responsibilities, you just look at your phone and catch up with your friends. All of a sudden, you feel more relaxed.
The internet or social media, specifically, is a world of distraction and provides a mindless escape for tired minds.
It can be really difficult to let go of our relationship with our mobile phones and devices, especially during this pandemic when it has become an escape and a form of pleasure for us. However, we need to remember that excessive gadget use has profoundly affected the family by decreasing family time, reducing socialization, and face-to-face interaction.
5 Tips to break up with a device and reconnect with loved ones
From the time her husband brought up the issue, Dr Feliciano knew that she needed to break up with her phone before this seemingly unimportant device caused more hurt in her most important relationships. She shared a few tips that she found helpful when breaking up with a device and reconnecting with the people and experiences in your life:
Decide on time limits.
Research says that we are more likely to achieve things if we plan and set goals. We hate to break it to you, but the first step to reclaiming your freedom from excessive gadget use is to make a decision to limit your time in using your phone and other devices.
Find a go-to replacement activityonce you hit your device limit.
You will have more time to do other, more fulfilling activities when you decrease the time you use your devices.
Make a list of things you might like to spend time on aside from using gadgets. Here are some ideas: reading a book, having a conversation with someone, relaxing and meditating, or simply taking a walk.
Create “no-device” zones and times.
Making sure that people around you feel seen and heard could strengthen your relationship with them. It would be good to create a space where the use of gadgets is not allowed. For instance, a dining table and bedroom are two areas where connection can naturally flourish if we eliminate distraction.
Delete time-sucking apps.
Do you not notice time passing by when you’re on a particular app? Then maybe it’s time to say goodbye to it. Deleting apps is a firm boundary you can set around managing your time.
Tell others you care about your gadget detox.
Research tells us that accountability helps us to achieve goals quicker. So be accountable to the people in your life. Let your loved ones know that you care for them and want to spend more quality time with them, which is why you’re choosing to cut back on gadget time.
Benefits of having a gadget detox for family
In the last two decades, people made so much use of technology, particularly internet connectivity. It increasingly became pervasive that it affects our daily lives and relationships with people around us.
Having a gadget detox allows us to disconnect ourselves from using our gadgets for a specific period. This time can be spent doing something more productive. A gadget detox could be an advantage to your relationship with your family and loved ones.
The benefits of having a gadget detox in your home include the following:
Increased family quality and bonding time Better eye and sleep health Improved social skills, self-esteem, independence, and creativity Increased exercise and tactile experience for children and teenagers (crucial for development and engagement with the world around them).
Breakups are never easy, especially if it’s with someone (in this case, something) you relied on for a long time. But it’s better to break up with devices and bad habits before it comes between your relationship with the most important people in your life.