Too Much Phone Usage Can be Mentally Damaging

We’ve all done it; you’ll be in conversation with a friend and suddenly, your attention is in your phone. Replying to them with “mmhmm”, “okay”, “wow”. But do you realize what is happening?

You’re choosing to ignore the person that is right in front of you for reasons of which can’t be given a great excuse (unless you missed 6 calls from your mom, whoops, big mistake). Whether it’s replying to a Snapchat, scrolling through Instagram or Twitter, you’re avoiding life in front of you.

We live in an age where we can communicate with anyone at any time however, when you’re with friends and family, you should take notice of your phone usage; there's a time and place. This pattern is so isolating, not only for yourself, but for those that surround you. Because of overuse of social media, society has changed in many ways such as: lack of bonding, terrible communication skills, and even miscommunications. Have a heart-to-heart moment with yourself and understand that this is truly a big deal. It might not seem like a big deal but in the long run, it’s disrespectful and can be emotionally damaging to others.

Depression has been linked to social media as well. According to an an article from BBC, “the more depressed a person is the more social media they might then use, which worsens their mental health further.” This then leads to a loss of vital communication skills.

Public speaking is the number one fear alongside death, some experts estimate as much as “75% of the population have some level of anxiety regarding public speaking.” Which brings up the question; how do we [a society] begin to build office, romantic, and friendship relationships? Since the fear of public speaking is so common, it alters our lives. It makes life difficult, leading to a damaging mentality. It’s as if intentionally we are creating a version of solitary confinement.

This is our society: plugged into life online, in our phones.

Do you notice how many people cross a street while their heads are lost in their phone? Or maybe you do it yourself where you don’t recognize those around you. As easy as it is to say; “oh, I won’t get hit by a car,” “no, it won’t be me to get kidnapped.” One day it could be you. According the article Dangers of Distracted Walking, “67% of pedestrians hit by autos in New York City were in the crosswalk and had the Walk signal. A fact that highlights the importance of staying alert even if you are in a walk-friendly zone.” This is an issue because it could be as simple as walking on campus and walking through hallways of buildings. It may seem silly to highlight on but, it’s clear that a huge percentage of the population disregards the world surrounding them; not only dangerous but again, isolating.

Oh boy, the long-awaited social media/phone usage vs irregular sleeping patterns. I have personally experienced this, those wee hours of the night, scrolling through memes on Instagram and Twitter. You lose track of time, one moment it’s 10PM the next it’s 1:30AM, knowing that you’ll have to wake up early in the morning. Maybe you’ve tried setting your phone across the room or maybe you’ve tried shutting it off, but maybe you just haven’t learned to fall asleep ‘on your own’. Make tiny adjustments; spray your pillow with your favorite perfume (or use essential oils/oil diffuser), start journaling or reading, make a cup of tea (my favorite is Sleepytime from Celestial Seasonings, with a tablespoon of honey), or just move some pillows around finding your comfort zone, and breathe. Just breathe.

Take the time to become more self-aware; maybe you don’t need to be as dramatic as deleting everything (you’ll just redownload them) but look for other outlets--like cooking, reading, enjoying friends company, or just journaling (putting your mind to paper will help you use your time efficiently to better yourself). Begin to realize the adjustments you need to make in order to acheive progress.