Technology has made so many advances in the last fifteen years that it is really quite amazing. Fifteen years ago we never would have expected we would one day live in a society filled with cell phones, personal computers, and Internet access right at our fingertips. Today our lives are so inundated with technology that we might not even notice how addicting these devices have become.

Poor Cell Phone Etiquette

The addiction started with basic cell phones, as people began to walk around talking on their phones all the time. As these devices became more advanced, we began to see the texters and constant web surfers emerge. Today, people commonly go about their day, eyes down, typing on their phone. Groups of friends can now gather at a restaurant and say no more than a few words to each other because they are all concentrating on their phones.

Smart Phone Addiction

Some would call it poor etiquette to be on a smart phone in public all the time. What people are starting to realize, however, is that it is becoming an addiction for many. Many people are unable to stop checking their messages or turn off their phone, and the problem is only getting worse as all these devices become more available and more advanced. Much like the effects of drug or alcohol addiction, smart phone usage impacts the brain. When a person receives a message on their phone, it lights up their pleasure center, causing a mini-high. Over time, the person begins to crave that feeling, and will keep checking messages over and over to satisfy that desire. Not only that, but our phones now hold a wealth of information that is easy to access, and many people get caught up searching through that information. While checking a cell phone does not negatively impact our health, it causes inattention to the task at hand, weakens our social skills, and wastes time. Some people now claim that they find it easier to say no to alcohol or cigarettes than to turn off their phone.

Turn Off the Devices

To see if your smart phone is controlling your life; turn it off. See if you can go a day without it. Also, reevaluate the time you spend on your phone - is it taking up time you could be spending talking to a loved one, playing with your kids, or working productively? If so, consider setting limits on your smart phone usage. Know when it is appropriate to be on your phone, and challenge yourself to turn it off or ignore it when there are more important tasks at hand.
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