If your phone happens to be the biggest love of your life, take a look at this article and discover how harmful it could be for your health to focus on your phone all day long. You may even wonder why you get so addicted to your phone. Well, here is the major reason why you’re addicted to your phone and how it can affect your health.
Phone addiction is simply defined as the obsessive use of a smartphone. This is a behavioral addiction and it is often referred to as “nomophobia,” or the fear of being without a mobile device. Keep in mind that there are over 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world and the biggest percentage is addicted to their phone. Here are the simple reasons why your addicted to your phone and how it can affect your health
Why your addicted to your phone and how it can affect your health.
Why is your phone addictive? You may wonder. Well, Psychologists liken cell phones to slot machines. They simply have the ability to release the feel good hormone which is known as Dopamine. Dopamine is a very important chemical in the brain that induces happiness. It is released every time we receive a message, alert, notification, and the like on our phones.
Further explained, Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Our brains are designed to release dopamine when we do something that meets a survival need, like eating or even in other instances, having sex. Countless studies have shown that phone activity causes the release of dopamine in our brains, making us feel aroused, motivated, and most importantly happy.
Another reason why you’re addicted to your phone is that it is more of behavioral related. When you perform a specific behavior over and over again that triggers a certain reward, the pattern becomes etched into your neural pathways. Soon enough, your brain begins to crave that reward regularly, hence the addiction
You want to know something fascinating about Dopamine? It quickly metabolizes in your brain, leaving you wanting more and more, as soon as possible. So once the impact of the dopamine goes away, your brain will do whatever it takes to get that feeling back, as soon as it can.
Remember that we tend to use our phones for a different function. They serve as a portal to connect to our social world. We spend most of our time on cell phones texting or even simply scrolling through social media.
According to Psychology, it all starts with the human desire to connect to other people. Just like the release of dopamine, our need to be social is hardwired in our brains. Humans have a desire to seek and maintain strong relationships. It’s as basic to our psychological well-being as hunger and thirst are to the body.
Incase you are wondering why, let me enlighten you. It’s rooted in evolution. As humans evolved, they depended on each other to survive under harsh environmental circumstances. Those who had stronger connections with other humans had a higher chance of surviving, because they had several people to support them. Fascinating, right?
Particularly, the desire to monitor other humans runs deep in our system. As humans evolved, they needed constant input from others to determine culturally appropriate behavior.
If you are still wondering why you’re addicted to your phone and how it can affect your health, I have another one for you. Phones are naturally designed To Be Addictive Remember that access to a smartphone can make life easier by making information accessible.
Still, the convenience comes at a price. The devices are carefully designed to be hard to put down. Through its colors, sounds, and vibrations, the technology purposely keeps its users engaged.
Sometimes, people are highly addicted to their phone without even knowing that they are. Below are a few ways to discern if someone has signs and symptoms of a phone addiction:
- Lying about smartphone use.
- Loved ones expressing concern over your use of the smartphone
- Neglect or trouble completing duties at work, school, or home.
- Spending more and more time using a phone.
- Checking peoples’ profiles repeatedly due to anxiety.
- Getting accidents or injury due to phone use.
- Working later to complete tasks.
- Weak or non-existent social life.
- Fear of missing out on trends.
- Isolation from loved ones.
- A feeling of lack of connection.
- Getting angry or irritated if phone use is interrupted.
- Getting up at night to check a phone.
- Reaching for the phone the moment they are alone or bored.
- Phantom vibrations (thinking the phone buzzes when it doesn’t).
- Limiting phone use is difficult for you.
- Craving access to a smartphone or another device on a daily
How phone addiction can affect your Health.
After learning why your addicted to your phone, you also need to know how it can affect your health. It is quite obvious that you may fall I’ll because you are sleep deprived since you are always on your phone! Aside from all this, there comes a consequence of depression due to the fact that looking at other people’s lives could make you feel like you are lagging behind or you are lacking.
Chronic phone use can also cause other physical dysfunctions, like GAB dysfunction and a loss of grey matter in the brain, which are highly correlated to substance use disorders.
This is simply a neurotransmitter in the brain. Chronic phone overuse is proven to change reward circuits in the brain chemically. One of the primary affected neurotransmitters is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces a calming or euphoric effect. It can even control fear and anxiety. The inhibitor plays a significant role in addiction by rewarding substance use and reinforcing addictive behaviors if not well maintained.
Research shows that chronic phone use can increase or decrease GABA production. Disturbances to the GABA system are proven to be a warning sign of addiction. In a study by the Radiological Society of North America, heavy phone use was linked to an upsetting ratio of GABA to other neurotransmitters.
Decrease In Grey Matter
Grey matter in the brain is connected to the part of the central nervous system responsible for enabling individuals to control movement, memory, and emotions. A recent study scanned participants’ brains with a phone addiction and discovered a change in their brain’s grey matter. According to the researchers, the physical shape and size of their brains highly resembled that of drug users. Grey matter volume among people addicted to their phones diminished in critical areas, a condition similarly observed in people with a substance use disorder.
It is important to note that there has also been a rise in depression and suicide among teenagers in recent years correlated to phone addiction. Adolescent girls are particularly susceptible to the risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2010-2015, the suicide rate rose by 65%.
At the same time, the rate of severe depression among girls increased by 58%. Many researchers believe the rise in suicides is a direct reflection of the negative effects of phone addiction.
Well, now you know why you’re addicted to your phone and how it can affect your health, right? It is high time you work towards decreasing your phone use time for the sake of your health, don’t you think?
Frequently Asked Questions.
What is the main cause of phone addiction?
Biological factors contribute to this behavior. Cell phones are viewed by the brain as drugs. Researchers have found that both the ring of the phone and receipt of a new text trigger release of dopamine in the brain
What happens if someone is addicted to mobile phone?
Various things happen to the body when one is addicted to the phone. Headaches, weakened eyesight, sleep disorders, depression, stress, social isolation, aggressive behavior, financial problems and ruined relationships as well as no or low professional growth are some of the problems that a person suffering from mobile addiction might have to undergo
What are the side effects of using phone at night?
Mobile phone use prior to bedtime or even after lights-out is a common habit among many young adults. However, this unhealthy habit may lead to delayed bedtime, sleep loss, irregular sleep-wake patterns, poor sleep quality, and increased tiredness during the day
How many hours a day should you spend on your phone?
Around 2 hours per day. Experts say adults should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day. Any time beyond that which you would typically spend on screens should instead be spent participating in physical activity.
Why phone addiction is a serious problem?
When you’re glued to your phone, you miss out on quality time with friends or family and exciting experiences. There are other negative effects of excessive cell phone usage, including the following Mental health issues, anxiety and depression.