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Are you addicted to your smartphone?


"I read emails when I’m in the car. If I get up in the middle of the night, I check to see if the red light is flashing, with a mixture of pleasure (someone may have exciting news for me!) and resentment (leave me alone!). When I email someone, I expect an immediate reply, and my impatience grows every minute (“Where are they?”)."

This confession from a smartphone addict is extreme but is it not just another example of a pandemic we are all suffering?

Image - www.instant.ly


I ride the bus every day and most people will take out a smartphone at some point on the journey, some much more frequently than others. Why? Because they want to stay up-to-date with current events, they want to chat to their friends and acquantences, they enjoy being nosy and showing off on social media and also because they're 'bored'. Almost everyone travelling alone, at some point, decides to focus their attention on their phone as they instinctively follow a thought that says "Let's find something new to think about".
The mind's tendency to want to sink its teeth into new information has been around far longer than we've had smartphones of course, but in the times before iphones and androids it was much more difficult to exit reality completely. There were always books and newspapers and other distractions to occupy your mind, but it was also much more common to start up a conversation with the stranger next to you or atleast to simply look out the window and take in the sites and sounds of wherever you were at that moment.

Image - www.tracygallagher.com

Something I witnessed recently highlights this well. Whilst on the bus, there was a teenage girl on the pavement with her headphones in and her head down, completely captivated by her smartphone. She walked straight off the pavement and into the road without hesitation with her eyes still glued to the screen. Thankfully there we no cars on her side of the road but she was still making her way towards us. Our driver started blasting the horn but she was completely absorbed and we skimmed past her with only inches to spare. I'm still not sure she even noticed us.

There's nothing wrong with using smartphones of course, but do we have to become imprisoned by them? When you start using them as an anesthetic to treat 'a bored mind' they have the power to completely take you over. You become a slave to the screen, you no longer see or smell the flowers by the wayside , nor are you aware of the beauty and the miracle of life that unfolds all around you. Smartphone addiction is of course not the real problem, but an over relience to the mind and its incessant thinking. Just remember, when your mind starts to wander, it's not a mistake or failure, its just what minds tend to do. Keep your phone in your pocket and gently return your awareness to the present moment, or get hit by a bus.

 
Image - http://resources2.news.com.au

What do you think?

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Are you addicted to thinking?

Robert Thomson
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Are you addicted to your smartphone? Reviewed by Alex Carson on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Rating: 5
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