Nowadays, it is not uncommon too see someone who is glued to their Smartphone, and this is something that can take place in just about every context. So, if one was to go into a public area, they are likely to see people of all ages looking down at their device.
When this happens, someone can be completely oblivious when it comes to what is taking place around them. As a result of this, it can be normal for them to walk into people, objects, and they might even cross a road at the wrong moment.
And, if one was to use public transport, it is likely to be the same. Nevertheless, what will be different is that it will be a lot safer for their attention to be consumed by the piece of technology in front of them.
Out of the Present Moment
It could then be said that while their body will be in the company of others, their mind will be somewhere else. One way of looking at this would be to say that there is nothing interesting about walking around public places or being on a bus or a train, for instance.
At the same time, if is used to being plugged into a device like this it is not going to be a surprise for them to have this outlook. Everyday life might no longer be stimulating enough for them.
So when someone places their attention on their device, they can avoid what is going on around them. In addition to this, it can allow them to avoid what is taking place within them.
There is also a strong chance that by using their device for as long as they have, they find it hard to not use it. With this in mind, what motivates them to use the device is partly going to relate to the attachment that they have formed to it.
A New Problem
What this shows is that not just a case of one trying to get away from existing feelings, they will be trying to get away from new feelings that arise when they don’t use their device. This can show that one has become dependent on it.
Using this device allows them to settle down, so if they don’t use it they will probably get withdrawal symptoms. Still, this is not just going to be about the device itself.
When someone uses their device, they are likely to have a number of different apps that will have a positive effect on their mood. And simply hearing a sound from their Smartphone can have similar effect.
This sound can mean that they have received a comment, ‘like’, or a message from one of their ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. The reason for this is that one is going to get a rush of dopamine each time this happens, and this is the brain chemical that is associated with pleasure.
The Main Reason
Taking this into account, it could be said that the device and the apps that someone uses are just a means to an end. That is, of course, unless someone only uses their phone from time to time.
But when they spend a lot of their life using their device, it can show that they have become hooked to the brain chemical that is released when they use it. When this chemical is released, they will feel happy.
A Poor Substitute
The reason why someone would be consumed by their device is then not because of how fulfilling it is to use it; it is the result of the chemicals that their brain releases when they use it. But as one is only speaking to people over a screen and is not around real people, it is not as though socialising online is going to be a fulfilling experience per se.
Therefore, what one misses out on when they speak to their ‘friends’ over a screen, they make up for with the chemicals their brain releases. Then again, this is not quite accurate as speaking to people over a screen is not going to be the same as speaking to them in the real world, no matter how much dopamine their brain releases.
A Big Distraction
Through using their Smartphone to access different social media sites over a certain period of time, they will have created a pathway in their brain. As long as they get their dopamine hit they should be fine, it’s when they don’t that it can be difficult for them to handle.
It can be easy to focus purely on what happens when one doesn’t get the hit they need, but this would overlook what is likely to happen when one spends so much time on their Smartphone. The time they spend on this device could be used in a far more productive manner.
If they were to cut back on the amount of time they use their Smartphone, in order to use their time better, it is likely to be a challenge. It should get easier as time passes, though, and one will also be able to think about what they have achieved by changing their behaviour.
This is case of short-term pain, long term gain, or short-term gain, long-term pain. One could spend more time around others, read more (or simply start reading), or take up a new hobby, for instance.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.