The Silent Addiction Taking Over Your Life – Episode 50

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In this week's episode...

Most of us don’t see ourselves as being addicted to our technology. Unfortunately, as a society we are. Join us this week for a look at the world of Digital or Technology Addiction. We explore what it is, share some disturbing statistics, and look for ways to shake the Tech-Monkey off our backs. Tune in to regain control over your technology!

Empowering You Organically – Season 7 – Episode 50
Title: The Silent Addiction Taking Over Your Life
Hosts: Jonathan Hunsaker, TeriAnn Trevenen
Guest: None
Description:  Most of us don’t see ourselves as being addicted to our technology. Unfortunately, as a society we are. Join us this week for a look at the world of Digital Addiction. We explore what it is, share some disturbing statistics, and look for ways to shake the Tech-Monkey off our backs. Tune in to regain control over your technology!

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What is Digital Addiction & Do You Have It?
The Internet is a network of online connected servers, desktop computers, laptop, and mobile phones. And societies are now inside this internet network.

Before the Internet came into existence, to communicate with someone who isn’t in the same room as you, you would have to call them on a telephone. Or if you wanted to send them a note you had to send a letter through snail mail. With the introduction of the Internet, we now have the ability to send and receive messages through electronic mail- virtually instantaneously and without the need of a postage stamp.

We have all been positively affected by the Internet’s improved efficiency of automation or the ease of researching and shopping, but what about the other side of that coin?

Understanding Behavioral Addiction

  • Behavioral addiction affects a vast number of individuals and occurs when people find themselves unable to control the frequency, or amount of, a previously harmless behavior such as love, sex, gambling, work, internet and chatroom usage, shopping or exercise.
  • Behavioral addictions are considered impulse‐control disorders and share many underlying similarities to substance addictions, including aspects of tolerance, withdrawal, repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut back or quit and impairment in everyday life functioning.

What Statistics Show
Check out the statistics provided by researchers at BankMyCell.com – just for smartphone usage!

  • The average smartphone user checks their device 63 times a day.
  • 86% of smartphone users will their device while speaking with friends and family.
  • 58% of users attempted to limit their usage in the past and only 41% felt they were successful.
  • 87% of users check their phone within 1 hour of waking or going to sleep
  • 69% of users check their phone within 5 minutes of waking in the morning.

We can all agree that, in general, people are spending too much time on their phones, but how much time are we actually spending consuming content on our mobile devices?

  • The average time for people on their phones in the US is 4 hours a day (including tablets). As these devices become more integrated into our personal and digital lives, this increase in time is a depiction of both a culture and technology shift.
  • The average user in Brazil spends over 5 hours a day on their device, if you really think about it this is crazy… a fifth of every day is spent on their phone.

How Digital Addiction Affects Us
All the research and studies we examined found that a phone usage dependence can impact both the physical and mental health aspects of your daily life.

  • Anxiety – Simply having your phone near you will decrease your productivity, the impact snowballs with the level of the users’ addiction.
  • Stress – Higher stress levels were found in business orientated roles where work life is connected to the person’s device e.g. emails
  • Narcissism – People on their phones who get addicted to social media will begin to display self-absorption traits derived from posting constantly about their life or selfies.
  • Depression and loneliness – mainly stemming from people on their screens with high social media use (higher numbers in teens).
  • Attention deficit disorder – The flow of information can impact the brains’ ability to stay focused on one task for more than a couple of minutes
  • Sleep deprivation – Impacting your sleep can have long-term mental health, memory and learning skills.

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Deeper Dive Resources

Carpe diem instead of losing your social mind: Beyond digital addiction and why we all suffer from digital overuse
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311908.2016.1157281

Is it meaningful to distinguish between generalized and specific Internet addiction? Evidence from a cross‐cultural study from Germany, Sweden, Taiwan and China
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/appy.12122

The Emerging Requirement for Digital Addiction Labels
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-16101-3_13

Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations Across Seven World Regions
https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2014.0317

KIMBERLY S. YOUNG.CyberPsychology & Behavior.Jan 1998.
http://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237

Prevalence of digital addiction and use of digital devices by students
http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:xijmms&volume=3&issue=7&article=012

Online Peer Groups as a Persuasive Tool to Combat Digital Addiction
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-31510-2_25

The Challenges of Defining and Studying “Digital Addiction” in Children
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2734210

Hicks, Tyler M., “Digital Detox – Addressing the Issue of Screen Addiction in Millennials” (2019). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 513.
https://dc.etsu.edu/honors/513/

BankMyCell
https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/smartphone-addiction/

Should DSM-V Designate “Internet Addiction” a Mental Disorder?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719452/

Internet addiction update: diagnostic criteria, assessment and prevalence
http://www.jneuropsychiatry.org/peer-review/internet-addiction-update-diagnostic-criteria-assessment-and-prevalence.pdf

Internet Gaming
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/internet-gaming

 

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Jonathan H.:
Welcome everyone to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker joined by my cohost TeriAnn Trevenen.

TeriAnn : Hey everyone.

Jonathan H.: So today we’re doing a very special episode that impacts all of us more than I think we realize and we’re going to talk about digital addiction and there’s a lot to really cover on this subject. It’s interesting because I think a lot of us, we’re not consciously aware of how much we are on our phones, how much we’re on our laptops, how much we’re working, how much we’re just sucked into this digital addiction that crept into every part of our lives.

TeriAnn : Yeah, no doubt. It’s interesting because when we think about how we used to communicate, how we used to interact with people, how we got our messages across, nothing was instant and now everything’s instant. So it’s a big conversation right now and to how social media, phone usage, internet usage is impacting us across the world. I think more specifically in relation to kids and teens as well.

TeriAnn : Because now we’ve gone from adults using their phone and the internet all the time to now, every kid has a phone, every kid is on social media. It’s mind boggling how much we have this need for instant connection, instant reaction, instant gratification. We’re seeing it trickle down into our kids and the teenager just becoming a hot topic because we’re learning more and more the impact of using our phones, being on the internet. It’s constant social connection, interaction, and instant gratification on our health and on our lives.

Jonathan H.: That’s exactly it. I mean it’s affecting our health in such a big way and we’re not even realizing it. You bring up the conversation of kids and what I think is interesting is we don’t address it with our kids as much because we’re addicted to the screen as well. Right? So it’s hard to take the phone away. It’s hard to take the iPad away, when you’re out at dinner, things like that.

Jonathan H.: Because we’re addicted, we’re picking up our phone, we’re checking Instagram and Facebook and so our kids are picking it up and they’re learning it from us. It’s hard for us to discipline them and tell them, “Hey, no screen time.” When we’re sitting there with broken necks, looking down the whole time, texting and and checking out what’s going on online, like we’re going to miss something. And all the other fast pacedness, if that’s a word that happens with being connected to the internet now.

TeriAnn : The dictionary according to Jonathan.

Jonathan H.: The dictionary according to me.

TeriAnn : Well, anyway. No, I agree. I think it’s interesting when you think about the timeline of phones and cellphone usage, and internet usage, and computer usage. We literally have a computer in our hands all the time now and we’re able to connect all the time. I often find myself thinking like, “What did we do before the phone? What did we do before the computer?”

TeriAnn : When we had to find out where to go. We had a map in our car and we looked at the map and we followed the map and now I’m even guilty of this. I’m like, “If I don’t have GPS, I’m not going to find that Kroger’s or I’m not going to find that Costco.” Because we don’t know how to even find our way around anymore simply because we have this phone in our hands.

TeriAnn : Or if we have an emergency, we used to get on the landline, call the hospital, call 911. Now, we have a phone where we can like record things that are happening in real time. When we see a car accident or we see someone doing something crazy, we’re recording it. We’re calling 911, we’re on our phones. What did we do before phones? I think we’re starting to forget what we did before phones because we have them all the time.

TeriAnn : They’re on our bed stand when we go to bed and we’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. They’re on our beds and when we wake up and we’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. We’re talking to people, we’re texting, we’re on social media, we’re looking at other people’s lives. We’re posting about our own lives.

TeriAnn : It’s all these different things and I think there’s a beautiful aspect to technology, and phones, and connection, and communication. I also think there’s a huge downfall to how much we rely on technology now and how we always have to be instantly connected and instantly gratified and things that we want and need.

Jonathan H.: I mean, I think it’s drastically affecting our stress levels, right? We know this. We know that everybody right now is inflamed constantly, right? The inflammation levels. A lot of that comes from stress. A lot of that, we don’t know how to be patient anymore, right? We don’t know how to wait. We don’t know how to entertain ourselves. Right? By just sitting, I mean, what happened to just sitting and waiting for something, right? And staring off into space and letting your mind wander.

Jonathan H.: It was those times that actually allowed us to decompress, right? You’re sitting in a waiting room, you’re sitting at a restaurant, you’re sitting doing nothing but you’re actually doing something. Your mind is processing. It’s almost meditative, right? We’re processing things that are going on in our lives. We’re processing problems that we’re facing. We’re figuring it all out and it’s allowing us to really distress and decompressed. But now we’re on our phones and our computers so much that any downtime that we have, we’re checking.

TeriAnn : Yeah, stimulation.

Jonathan H.: Exactly. We’re streaming, we’re watching the video, we’re seeing what’s going on in Instagram. I don’t want to go down the social media rabbit hole, but now we’re comparing our lives to everybody else’s filtered pictures and happiness that they’re sharing. They’re not sharing all the sadness that’s going on in their life. They’re just sharing the good stuff.

Jonathan H.: So now, not only are we not decompressing, but now we’re watching social media and now we’re feeling bad about ourselves and our lives because we’re comparing it to the best parts of other people’s lives. It’s really killing us. I mean, listen, I love having technology. I think technology has its place. I think that it’s really time for us to get control of the use of technology and how often we use it.

Jonathan H.: We need to set an example for not just our kids, but for our friends and for anybody else that’s in our lives by being the ones to put the phone down.

TeriAnn : Sure. It’s interesting too, the other day I wrote a post on social media of all places about being intentional with what we’re posting on social media too. I think a lot of this boils down to intention, whether it’s our phones, whether it’s social media. Not only are we on our phones all the time, not only are we on the internet all the time, not only are we on something related to technology all the time.

TeriAnn : But we’ve lost our filters for humanity and that thing that connects all of us and that thing that makes us people and makes us unique and makes us think and act and do things in certain ways, consequences, and choices. I wrote this post about how we’re no longer intentional with what we’re saying. We’ll just go out and behind our keyboards, behind our screens, we’ll say whatever we want to say without a thought behind how it impacts people.

TeriAnn : Now, I’m not crossing the line of saying you need to care about what every single person in the world thinks about you. There’s important things to be said and important messages we can convey on social media. But it goes back to this word of intention for me. Are we intentional with our time? Are we intentional with our digital use, our technology with the way we’re using it?

TeriAnn : Are we intentional with what we say? Are we adding value to people’s lives and communicating and sharing and posting? Or are we taking away from people by just thoughtlessly and carelessly posting all the time responding, commenting, it’s like we just don’t even have filters in human connection anymore.

Jonathan H.: It’s sad really. I mean, and there’s several areas that we’re missing that human connection. I mean, you talked about using your GPS. When’s the last time you stopped at a gas station and asked for directions, right? Does anybody even have the guts to do that anymore? Are they so used to being hidden behind their phone. They don’t want to go talk to a stranger.

TeriAnn : We don’t have to talk to people anymore who don’t want to. You can order your groceries online.

Jonathan H.: You can now get fast food delivered right to your house as if driving through the fast food line wasn’t quick enough. Now, you can get it delivered.

TeriAnn : There’s a company called Crumbl where you can get hot cookies delivered to your door and they literally drop them on the doorstep. You don’t even have to look at the person who made the cookies, who dropped the [inaudible 00:08:38]. It’s like instant cookie. It’s insane what we have access to. On one side it’s the most beautiful thing. On the other side, it’s creating a lot of problems for us.

TeriAnn : One interesting thing I want to talk about, this is super fascinating to me. So I actually got a degree in psychology. I studied a lot about the DSM which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Excessive internet use has not been recognized as a disorder. However, the related diagnosis of gaming disorder has been included in the international classification of diseases.

TeriAnn : So think about that for a minute. Gaming disorder. Gaming disorder. I mean, think about that. Did anyone ever think that was going to be a thing? It’s not like we’re sitting here playing board games and we’re addicted to a board game. We’re sitting staring at a screen, having relationships with people who we can’t see, constantly stimulated, constantly playing.

TeriAnn : Yeah. So it’s really interesting. One of the things when it comes to this gaming disorder that isn’t included and that we have to talk about is this phenomenon of digital addiction. It’s not just gaming any longer. We don’t just have people who are addicted to games. I think for a while that was a thing before phones were so prevalent, before phones were computers, one of the big turning points of digital use of technology was gaming.

TeriAnn : I mean, people started creating these fantasy worlds. They were so stimulating. They were so beautiful. They were digitally designed. Now, it was you could go out into this world that wasn’t the real world and buildings, have relationships, compete against people, win prizes, all of those things. I can see where the excitement came from that.

TeriAnn : But that was really the tipping point of people no longer having to have this interaction with people. But really just kind of live behind their keyboard. Now, it’s gaming disorder as far as the DSM goes, but we have to look at the digital addiction. Because now it really is more prevalent to be addicted to your phone than even gaming. It’s not a gaming thing anymore. It’s a technology thing.

Jonathan H.: I love video games growing up. I mean, I grew up with the Atari and then went to ColecoVision, then Nintendo, then Super Nintendo then Sega. So I get all of that. I remember when it started getting big online. I used to be very big when I was 18, 19, 20 into the first person shooters. Right? I know at that time there was the MMOs that were on there. They’re massive multiplayer online games.

Jonathan H.: It was, I mean, that’s where everything kind of started. I remember I could sit down for three, four, or five hours and play straight. Now, the difference was is… This was back when, if there was a cell phone, it’s a little old Nokia that barely had snake on it. So if I left the house, if I had to go do stuff, I wasn’t fully connected all the time.

TeriAnn : Sure.

Jonathan H.: But we are now, right? So now we can put… It’s almost like we live in that fantasy land through social media, through different games that we’re playing online anyway, all of that. It’s just, when does it stop? It doesn’t have to stop. That’s the interesting thing, because we have our phones all the time. We have battery backups now with our phones. I mean, heck, we’re connected now to our watches. So even if our phone is in the other room, we still can see the messages come through on our watches-

TeriAnn : Notifications.

Jonathan H.: … and notifications.

TeriAnn : Oh, yeah.

Jonathan H.: So the truth is you’re connected 24/7. Before when it was gaming, you were limited to only having to be at home or by that console. Now, it’s everywhere, so the only way to fix it is to be, like you said earlier, intentional. You’ve got to be intentional. You have to start setting guidelines around, when am I on my phone? What am I not on my phone? What times do I start in the morning? What times do I stop in the evening? What breaks do I take throughout the day?

Jonathan H.: We have to be vigilant about this the same way that we are when it comes to eating junk food. The same way… Now, junk food is everywhere. You can eat and pick out on a crap all day long, every day, and we have to set those limits and those boundaries for ourselves to make sure that we stay in a healthy state and it’s time to do that with our phone.

TeriAnn : Sure. I agree 100%. I want to share some interesting statistics and we’ll talk a little bit about them. But as adolescents, 12 to 17 years and emerging adults, 18 to 29 of years, access to the internet more than any other age groups and undertake a higher risk of overuse of the internet. The problem of internet addiction disorder is most relevant to young people.

TeriAnn : I’m going to speak to this really quickly. I am the most unpopular mom in the entire world because my daughter, who is 9 going on 10 does not have a cell phone. I would say 90% of her friends have cell phones and I constantly get the question, when I’m I getting my iPhone? When I’m I getting my iPhone? When I’m I getting my iPhone? I constantly tell her when you’re old enough to have a job and pay for it and you can have a cellphone.

TeriAnn : But we do have iPads in our house. We do have computers. We have very limited time and we have very strict rules and parameters around them. I tell my daughters constantly, I can see everything you do and I will check everything that you do. It’s not an effort to try and control every moment of their life, but more than an effort to understand where they’re at, what they’re doing, what they’re spending their time doing.

TeriAnn : Because their little minds don’t know consequences. They don’t know boundaries. They don’t know what’s safe and not safe. I’ve had some pushback from other parents because I’ve posted my very unpopular opinion that my child will not have a cellphone.

TeriAnn : People are constantly trying to say like, “How do they FaceTime and talk to their friends and communicate with you?” I’m like, “Well, when she goes to play at a friend’s house, I text the parent or when she goes to play down the street, I walked down the street and pick her up.”

TeriAnn : I mean, I just don’t see a need as a nine year old to be constantly stimulated on a device where she can get into trouble. And in fact, I’m starting to hear things about some of her friends getting in trouble using their cellphones. These are not issues that a nine year old knows how to handle properly. They do not have the social skills or the understanding to know that these consequences severely impact them.

TeriAnn : Yes, we talk about digital use. Yes, we talk about technology use. Why is important that it’s used for good and that it’s used for bad. We have these conversations. But they’re not fully developed cognitively and they’re going to say and do things that can land them in a place where they don’t realize the impact of what they’ve just done.

TeriAnn : So I am definitely the unpopular mom and I’m going to stand my ground. Every child, it seems has phones now, but I want my kids to have a childhood. I want them to grow up using their imagination, not a phone to imagine their world.

Jonathan H.: Hopefully more people that listen to this take action and brace yourselves, but take the phones away from your kids. It needs to happen. We talk about the human interaction and not having that, right? We’re adults and we still can send text messages, we can hide behind our phone. We say things a little bit more boldly than we probably would in person because we’re not face to face. Right?

Jonathan H.: Now you’re talking about a nine year old girl. And a 40-year-old, 50-year-old, 60-year-old men and women can’t comprehend necessarily the impact that they’re having by hiding behind their phones. You’re expecting the nine year old to be able to do it. It’s absurd. So you got to take the phone away because your child has to learn how to interact with other humans. They have to learn what is offensive.

Jonathan H.: They have to learn what is nice, and what is not, and what is mean, what can you say, and what can’t you say? Listen, I’m the youngest of six and I have two older brothers and sometimes you popped off at the mouth and you got popped back and that’s how you learned. If I was hiding behind the phone, at six, seven, eight years old, I would have said some wild stuff.

TeriAnn : I wouldn’t have interacted with my family. I would’ve been like, “I’m, just gonna’ play on my phone here.” No, it’s crazy. The respect thing too. My daughter came home from school yesterday and she said, “Mommy, so-and-so got in trouble at school because she got a call on FaceTime on her phone and she answered it in class.” I was like, “What! This is why you don’t have a phone.”

TeriAnn : We go to concerts and to movies now and people constantly have their phones on and it’s we say at the beginning of shows and entertainment, turn your phone off. People still don’t turn their phone off. We really have lost a lot of boundaries and respect with technology as well. We can’t just sit and be and enjoy the moment. So anyway, I digress from that conversation. I know it’s [crosstalk 00:17:10].

Jonathan H.: Well, let’s not digress. Let’s, jump back because I want to talk a little bit more about the kids because this is such a big deal, right?

TeriAnn : Sure.

Jonathan H.: Mine are two and about to be five. I don’t have the struggle of, “Hey, my friends have phones.” But I do have the struggle of this screen and of iPads and wanting to play games and things like that. I want to talk about this because it matters that we’re overstimulating our kids as well, right? I mean, how could we ever expect them to enjoy a walk through nature, right?

Jonathan H.: Where the leaves just blow a little bit. Where a bird flies by. A little bug or butterfly flies by. When they can watch television or they can play on an iPad and it’s flashing and blinking. I can jump over here and I can do this and it’s making this crazy sound and that crazy sound. “Oh look, I just won 500 coins for doing this and now I bought this digital whatever.” Right? Whatever the reward is.

Jonathan H.: How can we ever expect them to sit outside and enjoy nature, right? We know that that’s one of the things that’s going to help us heal from our digital addiction is get outside and enjoy nature. So I just want to talk about it. I mean, because there’s the one side of it, which some of the older kids where they are losing that human interaction and they’re not having those boundaries. But across the board we’re overstimulated. Right?

Jonathan H.: We’ve talked about before, having that time to decompress, having that time to just sit. I mean, and it’s challenging sometimes. I go and sit outside and I have to consciously think, don’t pick up your phone. Don’t look at your phone. Let’s just enjoy this lake that we’re looking at.

Jonathan H.: I just want to bring that full circle for all the kids. I mean, we go out to dinner and you see all the kids with the iPhones and the iPads and I understand it’s easier, right? It’s easier to throw that in front of them, but consider what you’re doing to their little minds and consider that you’re setting standards that nature and life can’t keep up with.

TeriAnn : For sure. It’s not just a kid thing, it’s an adult thing too. One of the things, I’ll just say this really quickly just to tip or trick. One of the things I tried to do frequently with my kids and we’re not perfect at it, but we’ll take card games to dinner or to brunch or to whatever and instead of sitting down and like, “Can I find your phone mommy?”

TeriAnn : I actually have a rule, my kids have one game on my phone and it’s if I’m in a meeting and I know I’m going to be there for an hour, I let them play, because I know they can’t go outside because I can’t see them. I have to keep them where I can keep track of them. I haven’t brought anything else today. I forgot to bring something else.

TeriAnn : This literally happened once in a blue moon. I have one game, but for the most part they’ll come to me and say, “Can I watch YouTube on your phone?” Absolutely not. They are not allowed to play on my phone. They don’t have games. All these games on my phone, they don’t have all these things on my phone. They are not allowed to play on my phone.

TeriAnn : The other thing too is back to taking things with you. Card games, coloring books, toys they can play with at the table. But people don’t think about this anymore. You can take that stuff to a restaurant or to an appointment or to a meeting and stimulate your kids in that way and it creates this connection. So there’s so many things we can replace it with.

TeriAnn : So you spoke about just not being connected, not being in tune. We should be spending more time with people, more time in nature, but we’re addicted. This is an actual addiction. This is something we’ve got to title as an addiction and almost all of us are addicted. So some of the stats Bank My Cell.com has pulled around smartphone usage, specifically. The average smartphone user checks their device 63 times a day. 86% of smartphone users will use their devices while speaking with friends and family on the phone speaker.

TeriAnn : Here I am scrolling. I’ve been guilty of that. I will say 58% of users attempted to limit their usage in the past and only 41% felt they were successful. 87% of users check their phone within one hour of waking or going to sleep. I’m sure there’s a lot of people. It’s like, wake up. Look at the phone. 69% of users check their phone within five minutes of waking in the morning.

TeriAnn : So 87% in one hour, 69% in five minutes. So in general, we’re all spending way too much time on our phones. Another statistic, the average time for people on their phones in the US is four hours a day. This is including tablets. As these devices become more integrated into our personal and digital lives, this increase in time is a depiction of both our culture and a technology shift. Another stat, the average user in Brazil spends over five hours a day on their device. Five hours a day. Think about that.

TeriAnn : It’s funny because we constantly talk about being too busy, not having enough time in our day, not having enough time to get our things done. This truly is an addiction. When you think about it in that context, what is addiction? This is something we can’t go without. We can’t live without. We constantly have to have. It fills a need in our brain, not only emotionally and mentally, but physically that we can’t go without for long periods of time.

TeriAnn : We have to get that back to feel good, to get that high, to have those endorphins. It’s tied to that behavioral addiction. So it’s not really surprising to me that four and five hours a day are the usage that we’re seeing from people on their phones. But one thing I want to talk about today is how is that usage impacting us behaviorally, emotionally, physically, because just like any other addiction, whether it be drugs, food, gambling, sex, it doesn’t matter.

TeriAnn : We have significant impact from addiction. We don’t talk about this particular addiction, like an addiction. Well, we all just use our phones. Well, we’re on our phones a lot. Yeah, we use our phones a lot. Yeah, we’re on our phones a lot. No, we are addicted to our phones that has a lasting impact, long term effects, and it has impact on our long term health.

TeriAnn : I think it’s such an important conversation and especially when we look at the stats that cell phone usage is starting younger, and younger, and younger, and younger. What do we need to be aware of as far as how this is impacting us from a health perspective? We’re going to talk a little bit about that.

Jonathan H.: Well, there’s so much that you touched on. I’m trying to figure out where to go, right? I mean, one is, it’s absolutely an addiction and we have to look at it that way. Quite frankly, we’re all addicted, right? The first thing is you just got to admit it. Admit that you’re addicted to your phone. So, at whatever level, right? You may not be a five hour a day level.

TeriAnn : You can put a name on it because there’s actually a name for smart phone addiction. It’s Nomophobia. So, we’re all Nomophobs just in case you wanted to know.

Jonathan H.: I mean, the health impact is big, and this is aside from even the EMFs and the radiation and we could do a whole another episode about that. But I’m just talking about the mental health that comes into this and how is this affecting our society? How is this affecting our characters, right? How is this affecting the way that we interact?

Jonathan H.: I mean, you talked about, and I don’t remember what the statistic was exactly, but when we’re talking to friends that we end up interacting on our phones. I mean when’s the last time you were with somebody in person and it might’ve even been a friend you haven’t seen for a while and you get a text message and you pull up that phone and you read a text message while you’re there with your friend.

Jonathan H.: What do we teach our kids? When two grownups are having a conversation, they come in and they say, “Mom, mom, mom, dad, dad, dad.” Hey you say, “Excuse me, wait your turn. I’m having a conversation.” But we as adults, we respond to that text message ding or that vibration in our pocket and we ignore that person that we’re with and you know the signal that we’re telling that person that we’re with, you’re not as important as my phone and what’s going on my phone.

TeriAnn : Sure.

Jonathan H.: Then you just look at that text message and then you say like, “I’ve got a notification on Facebook. Let me see what’s going on Facebook.” Now you’re telling this person that you’re with it that all these other people’s lives are more important than they’re like, “I’m just [just going on a rant, but yes.

TeriAnn : But think about what you just said. What happens with what we would call traditional addictions. We don’t necessarily look at phone usage as addiction. But you’re talking about the same patterns and behaviors as people who are addicted to drugs, sex, gambling, pornography. Nothing more important than that addiction.

Jonathan H.: Exactly.

TeriAnn : You’ll lie. You’ll put people second. You won’t have relationships with real people because you have a relationship with that addiction. I think you just need to think about that for a minute. Really internalize that and that takes us to our next point. I want to talk about how this is affecting us. Addiction is not just the addiction and not being able to live and focus in your present life because you’re focused on that addiction.

TeriAnn : But how is it impacting us from a health perspective? So there are research and studies that have been done that look at phone usage dependence and how it can impact both physical and mental health. Some of the things they’re talking about now are anxiety, stress, narcissism, depression and loneliness, attention deficit disorder and sleep deprivation. Think about all these things I just talked about.

TeriAnn : All of these things when we’ve talked about health in the past are significant factors in shortening our lifespan, in shortening our health throughout our lifespan, and our quality of health, and how much happiness we have in our lives and how we regulate our emotions, our mood. Stress and anxiety are some of the biggest factors that can age us more quickly when it comes for a long term health, depression, and loneliness.

TeriAnn : It’s funny that to me, that depression and loneliness is one of the impacts on our health because here we think we’re connecting to people, here we think we have all these people who love us, and care about us or tell us how it is, or teach us things. Technology is a powerful tool. But research is showing that we’re getting more depressed and more lonely, being more addicted to our phones. So that speaks volumes about the kind of connection we’re getting from our phone versus having connection with real people.

Jonathan H.: I mean it’s pseudo companionship, right? I have 500 friends on Facebook. All of a sudden you feel popular and I made a post and I got 25 likes and look how important I am. But yet you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night on your phone, right? You don’t have anybody to spend that time with or you feel lonelier and more disconnected than ever. I’ve got teased a lot because on Facebook I have like 35 friends and people are like, “Why don’t you have more friends than that?”

Jonathan H.: Well, my answer is always, if you won’t help me move, then we’re not friends. Right? We’re not friends on Facebook. That’s my own personal thing, because I don’t want it to get in the way of reminding myself that I want to have a personal connection with people. Even if I’m on social media, the people I want to be connected to are people that I care about and I’m truly friends with, right?

Jonathan H.: So we have these 600 friends, we have these people that we may have never met and now we’re trying to impress them or we’re trying to impress all these other people. I may end up down another rabbit hole, so I’ll stop myself. But the point is, I mean the depression, the loneliness is at an all time high.

TeriAnn : Absolutely.

Jonathan H.: Because we don’t have that person to person interaction and we’re not giving ourselves that time to decompress. We’re not going and walking in nature. Right? Go tell somebody to go for a walk. What are they going to grab their phone and on their phone, they’re going to go through social media, going to walk. I want them to walk again.

TeriAnn : I’m so guilty of this, I may take pictures and videos if I go to a walk and I’ve got to have them on my phone. I’ve got to capture it. One of the most beautiful things that happened to me, I was at an event just last weekend and I’ve gone through this whole day and I literally only took a couple pictures. I look at my phone and I’m like, “I don’t have pictures with any of these people at this event.” I was like, “That’s kind of nice.”

TeriAnn : That means I was there. I was in the moment. I was focused and I was like, “I don’t have any proof that I was with all these people. But I really don’t care because I was there and it means I was talking, and I was connecting, and I was getting value from these people.” I think we rarely have moments like that anymore where it’s like, we don’t have 50 million pictures of one event.

TeriAnn : It’s like we have 50 million pictures of every event because we got to take pictures on our phone. We’re taking pictures of the thing we’re looking at. But we’re not looking at the thing we’re taking a picture of. There’s a filter on my phone. I didn’t think about that for a minute. It’s wild. I’m totally guilty of it. But it is true, we’re looking at this beautiful waterfall, but we’re looking at it through our phone because we’re getting the picture.

Jonathan H.: It blows my mind, you see parents at kids’ events. My daughter’s in gymnastics and they’re holding up a phone, filming their daughter doing the balance beam and they’re watching the fricking phone and their daughter on the phone and the daughter’s there in real life. She’d beyond the phone. If you just put the phone down, you can actually watch your daughter on the balance beam, not watch her through your phone. I understand people want to document everything and do all that, but it’s absurd.

Jonathan H.: How often are you going back and watching those videos? Are you turning those videos into DVDs that you’re watching later with your family? Right? How many of these pictures have you taken other than maybe going back every once in a while scrolling and we’re sharing on social media, are you really going back? Right? As opposed to let’s just enjoy the moment. Let’s use our brains again.

TeriAnn : Sure.

Jonathan H.: Let’s consider locking something into memory. Maybe our brains will be a little bit stronger rather than depending on our phone to solve all of our problems.

TeriAnn : Sure. I want to touch on the sleep deprivation for a minute. So we did an episode on sleep and how critical it is for our body to heal, to rejuvenate. It helps our mind to take and process information and store information, critical information. There’s so many benefits. You can go back and check out that podcast all about sleep. But we know that blue light from our phones and that stimulation from internet, cell phone usage, iPads, computers makes it much more difficult for us to go into a deep sleep and fall asleep more easily at night.

TeriAnn : There’s a lot of research behind that. So imagine you’re trying to get good sleep. You’re not getting good sleep. You can’t figure out why you’re not getting good sleep. Oh, it probably have a lot to do with what you’re doing before you go to bed and your sleep hygiene, if you will.

TeriAnn : We know that that simulation from technology makes it much harder to go to sleep and to get good deep sleep. So when we talk about long term impact on our health, sleep is so underestimated when it comes to our health and why we’re not healthy. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep as adult and think about kids. Okay. We have a huge issue with health in our country here in America and then across the world with kids being unhealthier than ever before.

TeriAnn : I am a big believer in kids getting enough sleep. There’s research to prove why kids need sleep. We can go and talk all about that, but a lot of kids aren’t getting enough sleep. I think another issue we face is not just adults using technology, but we’re letting our kids use technology before bed as well. Again, you cannot underestimate the power of sleep on your journey to health and being healthy.

TeriAnn : This overstimulation of technology. This addiction to technology, not only is it helping us to feel more depressed, more lonely, more stress, but losing good sleep, you can’t get it back. You cannot get back the loss of sleep. You can only try and improve your sleep from this point moving forward. Once the damage is done from lack of sleep. It’s done. So I really wanted to touch on that point when it comes to cell phone usage and how much it impacts us having good sleep hygiene and being able to get restful sleep.

Jonathan H.: I mean our culture is so go, go, go. Right? Especially, a lot of social media influencers that talk about hustling and you got to hustle and keep going. I survive on four hours of sleep and five hours of sleep. Like that’s a badge of honor. We really are learning more and more that it is not. It is detrimental to your health to not get enough sleep. So, yeah, I mean the blue light has a huge impact on being able to calm your brain down and being able to fall asleep.

Jonathan H.: The other thing too is, is the anxiety that comes into play from being on your phone. How many times have you late at night and maybe you’ve got a text message from a friend or you saw a social media post, somebody commented on your thing and now it’s kept you up at night because you’re not sure what did they mean by it? Did they mean this? Did they mean that?

TeriAnn : Internal wrangling.

Jonathan H.: That’s a challenge too with the digital connection, especially with texting, is now you have no context. I couldn’t see your eyes when you said this. I couldn’t hear the tone in your voice. I couldn’t hear all of these different things that give me cues to know are you being nice? Are you being mean? Are you being threatening? Are you being loving? All of these things.

Jonathan H.: I mean, I don’t know the exact numbers, but something like 70% of communication is nonverbal. So when I’m sitting here talking to you, I can see your body language, I can see your facial expressions, I can see all of these things. The words coming out of your mouth, that’s only 30% of what you’re communicating to. When we text them, when we read comments, we’re only getting that 30%. We’re left to try to decipher what the other 70% is and left to our own devices.

Jonathan H.: I hate to say it, but we typically go down the negative route, right? We typically think about the worst case scenario. Or maybe they meant this or maybe they meant that. So that anxiety that comes into it is affecting our sleep and affecting us in so many ways. So, I just want people to really understand that difference. It’s one of the things, even inside of our business, we use a software on the phone called Voxer.

Jonathan H.: So you’re at least leaving verbal messages, because too many emails, too many text messages get taken out of context and that’s just business. Imagine all in your personal life, how many texts you’ve taken out of context. I mean comments you’ve read out of context.

TeriAnn : And this worsening anxiety it brings.

Jonathan H.: Exactly.

TeriAnn : Sure.

Jonathan H.: The stress that it brings to you.

TeriAnn : I want to touch on one last thing to close out this episode today. I talked earlier about how we’re using our phones for five plus hours a day and we constantly have… Going back to stress and anxiety, not enough time in a day, not enough time to get things done. I can’t get that project finished. I have big plans, but I ran out of time. Time, time, time. Imagine getting 25 to 30 hours of your life back.

TeriAnn : That’s almost a full work week that we’re using on our phones. A full work week that is going to our phones five hours a day. Imagine how much you could improve your body with one of those hours. Imagine taking one hour to send messages of love to people and to tell people that you care about them or sending them a video message so they can see your face.

TeriAnn : Imagine using one of those hours to build a project that you’ve had a passion to build for so long. You do that one hour every day. Imagine losing that one hour a day to meal prep, healthier meals for your body. We’re talking about five hours a day. One of the things I love to coach people on and teach people on is better time management. I get that question all the time.

TeriAnn : How do you have time to do this, this, this, this and this? It’s being intentional and one of those things we can be more intentional with is our usage of our time on our phones. We’re actually going to stop here today because next week we’re going to come back to you and give you some tips and tricks and ideas to take this time back in your life, to reconnect with people, to reconnect with yourself and your body.

TeriAnn : This phone usage. This technology usage is impacting us so significantly. When we talk about time management, using our resources, building and creating the life that we want. Being intentional with our life, which is something I’m a huge proponent of and something I practice in my own life. We cut a lot of our phone usage, our technology usage out of our life. We get so much back in our lives, years on our lives and time that is just wasting away. So we’re going to talk about that a little bit more next week.

Jonathan H.: Absolutely. Yeah. I just drew a blank because I had something I was going to say on that point and then it just went away from me. So what I’m going to say is, let’s leave the episode there. What I would say is, is check your phone. You can see how much you are using your phone right now. It’s on all your iPhone. I don’t know the exact navigation that gets you there, but it’s in your settings.

Jonathan H.: Look at it and make a commitment to yourself to cut it back by maybe just one hour a day, right for the next week. Now, I have suffered from a lot of addiction from smoking, drinking to other things. I personally feel the best way to cut an addiction is cold Turkey. I think just saying that to some people, we’ll give them the sweats.

Jonathan H.: Thinking about cold Turkey, their phones and not being that committed. I will say cold Turkey for your kids is probably a great solution. But for you consider backing it off an hour a day over the next month and it really can be easily done by just being intentional. Waking up, looking at your phone and choosing to leave the phone on the nightstand and not look at it and just go get ready. Go take your shower, go shave, brush your teeth, do your morning routine without looking at your phone in between every one of those actions.

Jonathan H.: Go make breakfast, but leave the phone in the other room. These little decisions where you don’t need to be looking at your phone from the bedroom to the kitchen, right? You don’t need to be looking at your phone from the kitchen to the car. You don’t need to be looking at your phone at the stop light on your way to work.

Jonathan H.: All of these conscious choices to just leave your phone there and not picking it up. It’s going to cut that time back. I honestly believe you will feel the stress start melting away from your body. The anxiety melting away. You’re going to start sleeping more. What you’re going to find is that you don’t want your phone more and more. Right? The less I smoke, the less I drank, the less I wanted those things.

Jonathan H.: That’s a place that I think is a really healthy place to be using your phone for when you need to make a phone call, when you want to check in. I mean, I’m not saying to cut it out completely, but let’s consciously dial it back. So with that said, we’re going to give you a bunch of tips on how to do that on next week’s episode. I thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you TeriAnn.

Jonathan H.: If you guys are looking for the transcripts, looking for more ideas, show notes. Go to EmpowerigYouOrganically.com and you can see the video of this podcast, all of our past podcasts, all of the transcripts from podcasts, all the notes, everything you could ever need related to this podcast is there for you absolutely free. I have to ask you to please subscribe on iTunes.

Jonathan H.: The more people that subscribe on iTunes, the more iTunes will show us as a recommended podcast for others that are listening to similar podcasts as ours. The more that they recommend us, the more that we’re able to reach more people and maybe we can get more and more people to put their phones down, be healthier, live longer, and be happier. So thank you everybody for listening. Please tune in next week as we continue with part two.

TeriAnn : Thanks everyone.
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