Is your smart phone smarter than you?

Nomophobia is the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power. I think I’m Nomophobic so its time for a digital detox.

I left my charger at work again.

It died when I drove home from teaching my Sunday morning Yoga class, so I had to drive without music for 15 minutes. The silence was deafening.  My radio or CD player does not work in my car so I rely on my phone for music. It was so uncomfortable and I’m not sure why. I hate being in a room without music on or at least some sort of background noise. When I cook, I play music, at work we always have music on, when I work from home, I always have the TV on.

I have friends that go on silent retreats. Honestly, that would be my worst nightmare.

I take my phone everywhere. To the loo, when I’m in the shower to play the radio and when I am working out.

It is my watch, my camera, calculator, notepad, newspaper, and online shopper. I book cinema and theatre tickets and use it for my emails, both personal and work plus social media. And I must use Google at least 10 times a day!

I count steps, calories, log my workouts, check the weather and use it as my map. I am lost without it.

My kids use Instagram and cannot eat a meal without photographing it first. Most of my friends use dating websites on their phones and a couple of them are now married to people they have met on the internet.

And what about the belief that your phone is listening to you at all times? Mention any product, company or place and the next thing that pops up on your phone will be exactly what you have been discussing. Weird right?

We are now more connected globally than we have ever been. Research shows that 59% of all smartphone users check their phones 5 minutes before going to sleep and within 30 minutes of waking up. Me – its the last thing I do at night and the first thing I look at first thing in the morning. It’s about time I stopped doing this. When I put it down somewhere and can’t find it then I can feel the panic rising.

According to the latest research, we now spend a total of one day a week online. That’s more than three hours per day, and twice as long as back in 2011. Our mobile devices make everything – including ourselves – available on-demand 24/7. And that can make it hard to switch off.

95% of adults in the UK now have mobile phones and research also shows that health-wise, the overuse of mobiles phone is bad for the mind and the body, including:

Eyesight – that blue light from your mobile or laptop can cause eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches and dizziness

Text Claw – A non-medical term used to describe the finger cramping and sore muscles from texting, scrolling and gaming on your phone

Posture –  Rounded shoulders and a sore neck from looking down all the time

Distraction – People walk into things, have crashed their cars, fallen down holes, walked into lampposts. In 2015 3,500 people were killed and 391,00 injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers.

Radiation – Cell phone radiation has been described as a “possible human carcinogen” by the World Health organisation. The radio waves produced by mobile phones have raised concerned that they may cause cancer.

So, a digital detox is a thing (google it):

  1. a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.
    “break free of your devices and go on a digital detox”

There is also an organisation that will help you break free: http://digitaldetox.org/

Not sure if I am ready for a divorce yet but I am certainly going to introduce periods of separation now and again.

Veronica Winter

Health & Wellness Consultant

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