Taking a break from your mobile device and resting your mind isn’t a radical concept. You rest your body every night to have energy for the next day, and you step away from your desk every few hours to regroup your thoughts so you can better focus on the task at hand. It’s a biological fact that humans need rest, yet we fight how we are designed with tools of our own design like mobile devices.
The constant stream of digital information pouring into our mobile apps can be like a drug. Many people feel they need to always keep their phones powered on in order to benefit from the latest updates and notifications, and they may even experience mild withdrawal symptoms if they are separated from their smartphone or their battery dies.
One way an addiction negatively affects users is by deteriorating positive relationships. You can see this same effect with mobile devices as people are addicted to a constant Internet connection. This addiction to data eats away at valuable face-to-face social experiences that humans need, and makes users incapable of fully appreciating the beauty of the world around them. For example, go to any musical performance and take note of how many people in the audience are giving their phones more attention than the artist.
The key to overcoming a gadget addiction is to let your times of rest be restful. This means disconnecting from the web and unplugging your brain during your breaks from work, and even turning off your phone when engaging in meaningful social situations. Here are three mobile device rules you can adopt to fully recharge your brain when you’re supposed to be resting, and help you to enjoy your relationships.
- When socializing, keep your device turned off.
- Turn your phone off during mealtime. This includes meals by yourself.
- No checking your e-mail or social media notifications when taking a break from your work.
If you use a mobile device during every waking moment of your life, you may think that you’re getting more done and that you’re strong enough to be exempt from the negative side effects, but scientific studies have shown that the quality of work suffers from multitasking, and a distracted break fails to fully recharge your biological systems.
Are you addicted to your gadgets? Or have you found a way to manage your work life and your social life by removing digital distractions? Let us know where you stand on this issue in the comments!