Have mobile phones become your new 21st-century addiction?

I love modern technology, but there is a downside to it which I'm noticing more and more, and it can kill romance and passion – STONE DEAD if you misuse it!

Do you find yourself checking your phone - First thing in the morning and the last thing at night as well as numerous times during the day? Then once you start you can’t resist checking emails. Oh! and you now have to see that someone has sent a message – WhatsApp, a text or on Messenger, and you can’t resist checking it out, and replying there and then. But it doesn’t stop there, as you decide to see whats going on with social media sites.

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And that leads to going down a rabbit hole of exploration, leading to hours on your mobile. And don’t start me on the mobile phone actually ringing. So many people interrupt whatever is going on to take a call. It doesn’t matter that we are in the middle of a conversation. I am left with my mouth wide open in astonishment. It’s rude and leaves the other person feeling totally disregarded.

Because many Smartphones record when a message is delivered and read, it creates real anxiety about responding to the message.


ANXIETY CREATORS


  • I hear anxieties around not receiving replies within a few minutes or because there wasn’t an ‘X’ at the end of the message. Many people carry their phones with them wherever they go – even to the loo! So if they cause so much anxiety why are people so addicted to them?




  • I have done some research on this can the claim is that is it triggers a dopamine release, much in the same way as with any other addiction. Dopamine controls the pleasure centre in our brain. So when we receive a message, text, like, etc. it releases the chemical, but that pleasure-seeking chemical isn’t satisfied, because its always looking for more of what made us feel good. In its simplest forms, it’s function is to seek out food and sex. But in our sophisticated world, it seeks out other feel-good rewards. Which means you get caught in a Dopamine loop, constantly seeking that instant gratification.

How to break your SmartPhone habit


If you want to reduce your habit, there are many apps out there that can help you. One of them being BreakFree. My mobile actually reports my usage, which is really helpful, as it concentrates my mind.I always advise clients to keep their technology out of the bedroom. If you are in a relationship it’s a real passion killer too.Limit the time you spend on social media. Also the number of times you check emails. I have an autoresponder on my emails which lets people I have received their message and the time limit in which they can expect a reply.The real test is whether you can switch your phone off for a whole day or weekend.

If any of the suggestions make you feel uncomfortable just thinking about them, then ask yourself why. You can generally make a case to justify them, but is it valid? My concerns are that it causes a great deal of anxiety, especially in young people who are often still struggling to find their identity in the world. They get hung up on taking selfies, counting the ‘likes’ they receive on social media, and at times going to extreme lengths to obtain them - such as unsuitable posts.


Relationships are suffering.


Couples are neglecting their relationships, seeking that Dopamine hit on Social Media instead of focussing their efforts on their relationship. Spending long hours on their phones chatting to friends, excluding their partners. Or making contact on a social media platform with a long lost lover, and starting an affair.


If you are struggling with any of the issues in this blog, get in contact for a free 30 minute chat - info@wendycapewell.co.uk


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