In my latest 5-Point Update I brought up an important issue that I’ve been thinking about lately; cell phone addiction.
I really think this is a serious modern day mental-health problem. People are truly addicted to their phones.
I look at young people today and they never, ever let go of their phones. Every 10 seconds the phone buzzes and they look at the latest message they’ve received from another friend who is also addicted. When they watch YouTube videos (they don’t really watch TV anymore), listen to music or even play video games they are checking their phones.
Every moment of the day they are bombarded with a new distraction. It’s constant sensory input. If there is silence, they turn on music. From what I can tell, it’s this way for most of our youth, but it affects people of all ages too.
They have no silence in their lives. They don’t let themselves just be. Every moment has to be filled with some kind of input. I also think that this prevents people from fully feeling emotions, because before people can get a chance to feel something they are on to the next distraction.
And I haven’t even talked about the electromagnetic radiation that they (we) are getting exposed to. That’s a whole other issue, and I think it’s a serious one.
The easy thing to say is to just crack down on it. Take their phones away, or put in some type of limits. And I definitely think this is very important when they are younger. When Eric was younger, we would limit his use quite a bit and we would make Sunday’s our “electronics free day”.
But it’s harder when they get older. Like I said, this is an addiction. But unlike a heroin addiction, where you can change your surroundings and completely remove yourself from the thing you are addicted to, cell phone addiction is more like a food addiction. The hard thing about a food addiction is that you can’t just stop eating, so you have to continually expose yourself to that which you are addicted to.
A phone addiction is the same thing. You can’t just talk someone out of an addiction. To some level, they have to want to solve their problem, and most young people certainly don’t see it as a problem. It’s just a way of life to them.
I’ve been doing some research on this, and it doesn’t seem like this is very high on people’s radar, but I did find this article and this article. I think there are some good points in it, but it’s not the full solution. Nor do I have a good solution.
What do you think about this issue? Do you have any insights? Please share in the comments.