This past summer I went to a music festival in my hometown Baltimore. It was called Moonrise. This festival took place over a span of two days, where the attendees would go home or to hotels during the night time and return during the day time for concerts. I knew that since it was an all-day event, I needed to charge my phone and make sure it was at 100 percent, as well as bring some portable chargers and my cord to give it some extra juice when it runs out. Little did I know, I would be leaving the festival that first day with almost a full battery and no use for my portable chargers.
When we approached the venue, I started to lose signal. No big deal, I thought. There’s no way they wouldn’t have signal in this thing, I mean right? I was wrong. As soon as we entered the venue, all of our phones dropped to zero cell service. Getting service meant leaving the concert and walking somewhere that had signal, then waiting in the hour plus line to get back in. I knew I was going to have to go all day without my phone and there was nothing I could do. The anxiety I felt about this matter may have been a symptom of smartphone addiction, which is very commonplace today.
How to fight smartphone addiction
You may be thinking, okay whatever, that sounds bad, but it’s not like you can actually be addicted to your smartphone. Well, you are wrong. Smartphone addiction is not only real, but you might have it. Smartphone withdrawal can show a few similar symptoms to withdrawals from dangerous and illicit drugs, such as acute heroin withdrawal. Addicts report nausea, anxiety, depression, and shakes. Luckily, there are many ways that people can fight the urge to constantly be on their phone. Rehab centers are available nationwide that can aid in your addiction.
A good way to fight smartphone addiction is to go cold turkey. Try locking your phone in a box with a timer, or in a safe where only one fired knows the combination. Tell them not to let you open it or give you the passcode until a certain time. Sometimes when we lose access to our phones, it is something we cannot avoid. Your parents can take it away, you can forget to pay the bill and it gets shut off, and you can lose signal. It’s important to learn how to get by without your smartphone, so that if the time comes when you cannot use it, you will be ready.
When I went to the music festival, it seemed like everyone was on their phone, but I knew they couldn’t be texting since there was no signal. Instead, people were using their phones to take pictures. Taking photos is a huge tool that people use on their smartphones because of the great camera quality, storage capability, and small size. Try looking into getting a digital camera instead. That way when you go to places that won’t have signal, you don’t even have to lug your phone around because you have a way to document your fun. And when you spend less time on your phone, you have more time to live in the moment and enjoy what you are actually doing.
You are not alone in your battle against smartphone addiction. Your friends, family members, and coworkers may be just as addicted as you, or even more. Start fun games or challenges with them to encourage each other to be on the phone less. Here are a few ideas:
· Have everyone chip in five dollars at the beginning of the day and the last person to use their phone gets to keep the pool of money.
· Place all your phones on the table when you go out to eat and whoever grabs their phone first has to pay.
· If you are living with roommates or family, have rewards for not using call phones during the day such as extra dessert, more T.V. time, or less chores.
· Use an app that times the amount of time spent on your smartphone. Make it a goal to spend less and less time every day.
· Set alarms on your phone every 3 hours. You are only allowed to check your phone for 10 minutes whenever the alarm goes off.
· Keep your phone charging in a different room while you sleep, instead of at your bedside table or pillow.
Online addiction support groups
Many people will argue that the best form of addiction recovery is joining a support group. Online addiction support groups can be incredible ways to find recovery. It is especially good for those who are shy, or ashamed about their addiction, because it is anonymous. You don’t have to show your face; you don’t even have to speak a word! You can ask questions, start forums, or just read what other people have to say. You can also share tips and ideas that you have and help others that are feeling the same way as you.
The old way to deal with addiction recovery is going to meetings, getting chips, and much more. New services are now available for those who have found those traditional methods to not work, or those who would like to take a non-twelve step approach.