5 Ways Smartphone Addiction Affects Students

As a student, you will use your smartphone for everything from studying and making plans to finding a partner and keeping in touch with the family. But use it too much — which is inevitable — and it will start disrupting your life much more than it improves it.

We all know this is what you would call smartphone addiction. But lesser known is the ways in which it actually affects your life and what you can do to deal with it.

Learn these five ways smartphone addiction is affecting your life and make sure you, not your phone, stays in charge during your studies.

1. Mind Pollution

Every time your phone beeps, vibrates, or a notification pops up on your screen, it’s a form of mind pollution. Something you didn’t ask for is contaminating your life, and, in the process, stealing a little bit of your attention and energy.

Instant messaging is at the crux of this problem and of smartphone addiction. Therefore, turning off push notifications and using aeroplane mode whenever you’re working, studying, or in class, is a great way to manage it and regain your focus and attention.

2. Sleep

With most of us messaging and watching Youtube late into night, our phones can significantly impact the quality of our sleep. The blue light given off by phones has been shown to disrupt our circadian rhythm and in doing so confuse our natural sleep/wake cycle.

The excuse to have them in our beds is that we use them as alarm clocks, but it’s no excuse; ditch the phone between 10pm and 8am and buy a proper alarm clock. Also, install a blue light filter on all your devices — your eyes will thank you later.

3. Escapism

Phones are incredibly useful tools. But one of the big problems they come with is that we can use them as a way to escape our lives at any given time and from any given place.

Social media and other forms of passive entertainment are the typical ways we escape reality, but they’re not all bad. Whenever you go to use them, ask yourself why you’re doing it, and if it is adding anything to your life and making you feel better or worse.

4. Relationships

Smartphone addiction affects relationships in a number of ways. Firstly, it makes you unsociable and unable to interact with other people. Secondly, it reduces many of your relationships to mere messages and emojis. And thirdly, as a result of both, it deprives you of the much needed joy and fulfilment that comes from face-to-face interaction.

When you spend more time on your phone than talking to people in real life, it comes across like your phone is more important than them. This creates a cycle where nobody feels they’re important or getting the attention they deserve, causing more people to turn to their phones. Break the cycle by keeping your phone hidden away when with other people.

5. Expectations

Today, everyone is expected to be connected and available 24/7. And if you don’t reply to someone instantly, then there has to be a problem — no, an emergency.

This expectation, that is often stretched out over many conversations and platforms, weighs much more heavily on us than we know. It saps our energy by filling us with guilt when don’t respond and outsources a chunk of our attention to what other people are doing and think.

This is what social media platforms and phones were designed to do — keep us in a constant state of communication. By recognising this pull, you can choose to regain your attention by taking breaks from your phone and the world of always being on.

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