27 Jan 5 Signs of Digital Addiction
At Time To Log Off, we have a love-hate relationship with digital devices. We recognise how they’ve made our lives heaps easier. From mundane activities like checking train times to the power of having a library of knowledge at our fingertips, our constant connection to the World Wide Web has forever widened our horizons and day-to-day possibilities. And even in the ten or so years since the iPhone was invented, our tech has been transformed. But, like with most good things in life, we should bid to enjoy the digital world in moderation. Sadly, however, when we watch young children glued to smartphones and hear of teens feeling increasingly insecure due to comparison culture apps like Instagram promote, we know we haven’t got that balance quite right.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re wondering about your own technology use. How do you know if you’re in need of a digital detox? Digital addiction can include internet addiction, social media addiction and smartphone addiction, among others. But to get an overview of our tech dependency, we’ve made a list of key digital addiction symptoms to consider. If any of the following feels familiar (we bet most of us can relate to some extent!), it’s time to reset your online:offline balance.
5 Symptoms of Digital Addiction
#1 Feeling Anxious
Do you feel anxious or irritable when you can’t get online or use your smartphone? This can be an indication of dependency and a reliance on the emotions using your devices trigger. Our information culture has created a desire to be online and reachable at all times, or else we feel like we’re missing out. If you feel anxious about missing out (but rarely ever miss out on anything!) this could be a sign of digital addiction.
#2 Missed Deadlines
An addiction often means that our balance is off – we’re spending too much time doing that one thing. And if the balance is off, it’s normally at the detriment to something else. If you struggle to focus and are missing deadlines at work or school, it may be because your digital habits are taking up more time than is necessary.
#3 Damaged Relationships
It’s not just formal deadlines that can lose out because of excessive screen time, it’s also our relationships. Being unable to put your phone away when socialising or losing track of time and missing out on spending time with loved ones are all possible signs of digital addiction.
#4 Body Aches and Pains
Screens have made us more sedentary. Many jobs are now desk and screen-based which can leave our eyes and back strained after a long day of work. When these aches and pains start to feel permanent and not fleeting, you may recognise that it’s time to step back.
#5 Feeling Guilty
We all need and wish to utilise our digital tools to some extent, whether its for work, keeping in touch with friends or everything in between. And we should! But when we start to feel guilty about being on our devices, it’s often because we know that we really should be doing something else. This could be spending time with loved ones, finishing homework, exercising, going outdoors or completing chores. Recognising these feelings is a great first step in cutting down your tech time and putting emphasis back on the things in life that are missing out.
Now that you may have realised you’re spending a little too much time on screens, explore our site for useful information to help you unplug. Or, better yet, grab a copy of our book ‘OFF. Your Digital Detox for a Better Life’ and spend some time entirely offline.