Tue12102019

Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

Lifestyles

The Reality of Cellphone Addiction

default article imageTeenagers and young adults today are consumed with one object: their cellphones. A study done by global tech protection and support company, Asurion, found that the average person cannot go over 10 minutes without looking at their smartphone. The term, “nomophobia”, was created to categorize this phenomenon. It stands for no-mobile-phone-phobia, meaning a person is so addicted to their phone that he or she fears being separated by it.

How do tech-obsessed users fix this prevalent issue? The answer may not be as simple as quitting cold turkey, but rather may require a process. Admitting to the addiction is the first step. The next, may be a slow progression of weening yourself off using your smartphone until you are comfortable spending an entire day without it. Disconnecting may help you feel more in tune with the world around you, and your own self.

Research shows that college students have admitted that their smart phones reduce their focus on everyday activities such as classroom learning. Professionals who teach media and psychology courses at Monmouth University have recognized this undeniable truth.

 Assistant Professor of Digital Media, Amanda M. Stojanov, explained why she feels it is beneficial to disconnect from your phone. Stojanov said, “I think physically it eases the strain on your eyes and perhaps even your posture. A lot of people do not have the best posture when they are looking at their phones; they are sort of slouched over.” 

Stojanov also added that disconnecting from your device can help improve your personal feelings. “Emotionally, I feel that it leaves you space to connect to yourself and what is in your immediate surroundings. Sometimes we get so caught up in other people’s news that we don’t have time to reflect on ourselves,” said Stojanov. 

Monmouth University students also provided comment on this issue. Junior communication studies student, Katie Dara, believes cellphones are unhealthy because, ‘’You lose connection with what is actually going on in the world, and with the people around you’’. 

Sarah Cooper, a junior psychology student said, “I think it is very important for everyone to disconnect from their phones for a while, to attach themselves to reality.” 

Not only can technology disconnect you from reality, it also can impact your mind. There are several physiological and psychological risks resulting from smartphone obsession. Brain activity and sleeping problems are two physiological factors that smart phones have bestowed upon their users.

It is common for adolescents to stay up late glued to their phones, causing them to not sleep. This habit can ultimately lead to which insomnia, which can be defined as the inability to sleep or stay asleep. 

Other psychological risks stemming from the overuse of smart phones are anxiety and irritability. Excessive cellphone use can create a dependency on the object, thus increasing the risk of anxiety when you have to be without it. 

Assistant Professor & Concentration Director of Interactive Digital Media, Dickie C. Cox, said, ‘’When we are mentally somewhere else, we are tasking our bodies with being at more than one place at a time. 

We are literally making ourselves busier. When we do that for extended periods of time, it leads to cognitive exhaustion, which has real biochemical effects on our body’s internal systems of regulation. Further, the computing experience of routinely bowing the spine or fixed arm positions lead to muscular strain, which can have compounding effects if we do not offer our bodies countering stretches.”

Instant access to social media sites also makes the situation worse, causing users to experience jealousy, and create unhealthy comparisons to other individual’s lives. 

According to Specialist Psychology Instructor, Jamie Goodwin-Uhler, “Phone use is known to create jealousy and loneliness in our relationships. At best it feels annoying when a friend or partner is texting others while spending time with us; at worst, it can lead to deep insecurities about the relationship.”

Taking time off from smart phones may be difficult at first but will ultimately prove beneficial for all users. This will help reduce anxiety levels, and in turn, dependency will decrease. Instead of choosing to plug in to your device, focus your time on outside activities and enriching your mind. Create a life that is not centered around your cellphone, but instead centered around you. 

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu