Over five billion people have access to the internet. Our devices have become extensions of ourselves; we are never without them. They are the last thing we look at before we go to sleep and the first thing we look at when we wake up. But do we consider their impact enough? Multiple people have trouble with putting their phones down and detaching from the online world. What can be done to fix this?  

Firstly, one must realize this will not be an easy task; so, we must go over the simple ways to shut our phones off. The first task will be to simply not go on our phones in the morning. The morning is a wonderful time to reflect and get ready for the day ahead, but if we interrupt that with our devices it can drastically change how our brains focus for the rest of the day.  

The second tactic one can implement into their routine is to recognize the importance of reading to our critical thinking abilities. Constant phone ‘pick-ups’ is a habit. Break that habit by reading a book for 45 minutes before bed. Not only will this help our thinking, but it will ensure that we will not get any blue light before one goes to sleep. Blue light may cause low melatonin release before bed meaning it will take longer to fall asleep and more likely to wake up exhausted in the morning.  

Having our phones on all day and night is terribly bad for us according to a study done at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which revealed that “women who used their phones excessively were prone to sleep disturbances and stress, while high mobile use in men was linked to depression and sleep interruptions.” 

When we get hundreds of notifications a day, we tend to falsely believe that our phones have buzzed which forces us to check it. This is called phantom vibration syndrome which occurs to 87% of phone users according to WOMS. There are many reasons why this may happen. Some say it is because we are so alert to that sensation that we make ourselves think it is happening, and some say it is because we are having anxiety that we have not gotten a notification. 

Why should one take a break from the internet? Every time one picks up their phone our bodies release a chemical called dopamine which serves as the motivation and happy chemical. We go on our phones about 96 times a day according to a study done in 2019., which can be referred to as an addiction. As a result, we are creating increased need for high dopamine levels, making one restless and feel internally nervous. It can also cause us to get energized making it hard to focus and sit still. It is best to keep dopamine levels normal, so to do this one can cut their screen time down to two to three hours a day. 

 Putting our phones away can create deeper relationships. Most of us go on our phones when with a partner, when we do this, it portrays putting a wall in front of the relationship, stopping us from deeply understanding our partners and creating an unbreakable bond. 

Taking the break from the internet can improve our self-worth, meaning one can complete tasks easily and have less hateful thoughts in their minds. We disregard ourselves so much in this generation and wonder what we are doing wrong but the answer remains right in front of us, our phones. 

picture curtesy of Bright Side — Inspiration. Creativity. Wonder.