(My apology if you are reading this while on a smartphone in a public place.)
I know. I know. You don’t want to hear it. But please, just allow me a few minutes of your valuable, electronically stimulated time and then you can throw all of this away.
At this point in human history, all of us have probably been in a restaurant or bar and noticed that almost everyone is on their smartphone. It seems to be a social phenomenon, the likes of which we have not seen since the popularity of cigarettes over a half century ago. Keep in mind that we are still at the very beginning of the integration of this smartphone technology into our daily lives. We are canaries in the proverbial coal mine and no one really understands how these smartphones will affect us down the line. So let me offer you this insight- currently almost everyone is addicted to what is known as electronic stimulation. This is why people can not stay off their phone. It is difficult for almost anyone these days to go ten minutes without a hit of electronic stimulation. Currently this addiction is wide spread, all pervasive and completely socially acceptable just like cigarettes were a half century ago. This will all change in time but for now if you want to avoid the unfulfilling and unhealthy direction your life is heading in it is good to exercise some kind of smartphone etiquette.
If you are on social media or on-line on your smartphone while you are with other people- you are an addict. You might really want to work on curbing this behavior right away. Even though most people might not be saying anything about it, you are a boring person to spend time with. Your attention is fractured. You have become dulled. More about this later.
If you are talking with another person and you are feeling bored or underwhelmed and you need to check your smartphone for a hit of electronic stimulation during the conversation- you are an idiot. Literally, you have been made dumb. Exercise your brain. Make a deliberate effort to stimulate the conversation or take it in directions that you want it to go. Don’t give up or give in. If all people do this we will end up with a zoned out, electronically stimulated, very dull human race.
If first thing in the morning you need to check your smartphone, you are seriously addicted. If you need a hit of electronic stimulation before you even wake up and have coffee- this is a sign of a hardcore addiction. Like a junkie, you are enslaved by your need for electronic stimulation. Checking your smartphone first thing in the morning sets up a precedent. As a result you will probably end up checking your smartphone all throughout the day and night. This is not a wise way to live a fulfilling human life. You will probably end up on some kind of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. Or you will look to alcohol and/or your smartphone to calm your electronically stimulated mind. Please try and get some control over this before it is too late for you. Even though you want to see what is going on on Facebook or Instagram first thing in the morning, give it some time. Breathe. Feed your dogs. Make your bed. Meditate. Go exercise. Read. Get your life back on track first.
Do you check your smartphone at least fifty times a day? Probably more since most people check their smartphones at least a hundred and fifty times a day. This is one of the most destructive aspects of the electronic stimulation addiction. This single aspect of smartphone use probably destroys more people’s mental health, creativity and relationships than anyone is yet aware. It is not healthy to check anything fifty times or more a day let alone a smartphone. Needing to check something so much gives a person chronic anxiety, a deep feeling of never having enough and as a result, a dependency. This deep feeling of never enough is the cause of most forms of despair. I know it is cool to check your phone and see what is going on in the digital world, but continually checking up on all those updates, text messages, likes and comments is emptying you out inside. Not to mention the possibly irreparable damage it is doing to your attention span. Tried focusing for long periods of extended time on anything other than your smartphone recently? Please, stop checking your smartphone so much when in public places. It can wait.
Do you go on-line while you are outside of your home or office? If you do you are without a doubt addicted to electronic stimulation. You need it like a junkie needs her fix. Feel good about yourself? Research shows that a dependency on something greatly reduces self-esteem. Don’t believe the research just look at your own life. How much are you thriving in life? How much are you mastering? Going out and having engaging interactions much? Doing what you want with your life? Feel confident in your interesting sexual explorations? Chances are that if you are addicted to electronic stimulation you are not have many sexual experiences at all. Continual electronic stimulation can leave the libido underwhelmed. When you are outside of your home or office please try and abstain from going on-line. It’s not a good look. This may be why you are not getting laid much.
When someone tells you about something and you find this something interesting, do you need to go on-line and check it out right away? This is a fundamental way that people who are addicted to electronic stimulation justify getting a hit of electronic stimulation when hanging out with other people. It is often a manipulative way of saying they are bored and need a quick fix. More, more, more is what their brain is saying as they sit there not really hearing what you are saying. The main problem with this aspect of the addiction is that it is conditioning the brain to need continual, immediate, electronic stimulation. The result of this is that a person loses the ability to sustain focused and hard effort towards something they are interested in. We all know that most of the rewarding things in life require sustained, focused, hard effort but the addiction to continual, immediate, electronic stimulation is denying people the ability to engage in this kind of focused effort. Any real potential a person has is sacrificed for their need for quick, electronic stimulation hits. Next time you want to check something you think is interesting on your phone (especially when with other people) please try and stay focused on what you are doing in the present moment. That interesting thing on-line can wait.
Finally, next time you are at a bar or restaurant notice how almost everyone is on their smartphone or has their smartphone right beside them (just waiting for the next electronic stimulation hit). Even though humans have an innate tendency to want to be a part of the tribe, see if you can deny the temptation to check your smartphone. It will be short term pain for long term gain. Even though you are surrounded by droned out, electronic stimulation addicts- please know that this behavior is not normal and will one day be seen as seriously harmful. But by then many lives, careers, talents, attention spans and relationships will have been ruined. By refusing that desire for a hit of electronic stimulation when in public places you may be saving your future life. And you will look smarter, happier and wiser than everyone else.