Did you know that the average person in Briton spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone a day! This might not sound too bad, until you realise that adds up to 49 full days a year. Not only that, on average we have been seen to pick up our phones 58 times a day.
So why do we do it?
Social media and technology are an ingrained part of modern day life, allowing us to work from home, communicate with friends and family and upload our lives onto Facebook and Instagram. Both are wonderful inventions which are excellent in moderation, but they can also create more harm. Technology overuse has it negatives. It can lead to issues such as loneliness, fatigue, agoraphobia, stress, poor posture and repetitive strain injuries. It can also have a significant effect on mental health.
Social media and technology addiction is thought to affect around 5% of young people, and has been described as potentially more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes. Technology and social media addiction works in the same way as an alcohol, nicotine or drug addiction.
Fulfilling the urge to check your notifications, seeing content you like, or seeing the likes on your latest post or picture add up, is a small, instant gratification, which produces dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is the chemical associated with pleasure and reward. This is what gives social media such as Instagram and Facebook, its addictive quality. It’s a quick, easy, instant win. This also works in reverse; continuously refreshing your social media feed over and over or seeing content that doesn’t appeal to you, can leave you feeling unhappy and frustrated.
Have you heard of the term term ‘millennial burnout’ ? This has been senn to affect young people aged between 22 and 38. It is described as an internalised idea that we should be working all the time. When we look at technology there is no off the clock. Notifications make it extremely easy to constantly check our emails so we are always accessible, even if we are far away from work. Smart watches are now used so no matter where we are, we can always stay connected.
So what can we do, to try and reduce the effects of technology and social media-induced mental wear and tear?
Here are Falcon Chiropractic's top tips to help you reduce your phone time.
1. Make it hard to access even if just for a few minutes.
If your lifestyle allows it, keep your phone tucked away and check it at set times throughout the day, this can prevent you form constantly checking your phone.
2. Delete your work email from your phone.
Give yourself clear boundaries between home and work life
3. Take your lunch break.
Take a break form your phone and spend time with your friends and family and the people around you. Allow yourself a “cool down” period away from technology this us especially useful before bed. The blue light from phone screens suppresses the production of the sleep hormone known as melatonin. Loss of sleep due to night time social media use can lead to insomnia and poorer mental health.
4. Learn moderation.
We know that eating too much junk food is bad for. Drinking too much alcohol is also bad for you. Perhaps we need to view technology in a similar way.
5. Look after your wellbeing
Do the things you enjoy! Go out and have fun without being glued to your phone, don’t forget a lot of these amazing pictures you see are fake so spend your time in the real world with the people you care about.