Mobile Mindfulness – How To Get Off Smartphones, Tech

breaking away from smart tech

We all know the dangers of overusing tech. Problem is, how do you get off smartphones and other tech? 

Now, at the turn of the 21st Century, smartphones are changing society, lives, and health. The introduction of new tech means today we can enjoy little luxuries like tracking our personal health via smartwatches or using Amazon’s Alexa in the Kitchen. Smart tech has dramatically changed the way we do things, which as a result has had an impact on our mental and physical health.

Smartphones have the ability to offer us flexibility and convenience, which is what makes them addictive and alluring. They have seamlessly slot themselves into our hectic and busy lives, living in our pockets and giving us the liberty of connecting to the digital world no matter our locations, just as TV has [READ: How To Quit TV].

Smartphones give us the ability to access information like never before, and this is, of course, is one of the reasons why we can’t seem to live without them.

Although they offer convenience, they are arguably destroying our health. Overusing smartphones and smart technology for long periods of time carry with them negative side effects. Smartphones can affect both our psychological and physical state, often without us even realising.

The psychological impact of smart technology

1. Weakening inductive reasoning

Using Google to get answers seems so natural now, but it has made us over-reliant on technology. Slowly we are restricting our minds and diluting our own mental intelligence in problem-solving and working out solutions. Overusing technology overtime will reduce our abilities to logically solve answers using our own mental strength.

2. Demotes social interaction

One of the biggest side-effects of smartphones is its significant effects on our mood. Interacting with content on our phones has a serious effect on our emotions. This is especially true when interacting with peers as we interpret massages from them with our current state of minds. Using our phones prevents us from interacting with our surroundings and the people in them. Smarttech can also diminish your cognitive abilities in regards to connecting and socialising with other people. A lack of interaction will usually see people withdraw from society. This is one of the main reasons to get off smartphone and other tech because they are fueling the epidemic of loneliness [READ: Meditation For Loneliness]

3. Decreasing Memory

Smart tech works well for collecting memorable moments but can lead to memory loss. As we become increasingly reliant on technology, we lose the capacity to store information in our own minds. This undoubtedly causes us to have memory loss over time. The memories we do remember are often likely to be linked to digital images rather than our internal memories.

The physical health impact of smart technology

Smart tech hinders our lives and risks limiting the level of physical activity we do on a daily basis which then turns into habits and can be quite destructive, making us lazy. Here’s a look at a few ways our bodies and physical state is changing due to smart tech.

1. Excessive Weight Gain

The fact that we are able to access our favourite sources of entertainment such as movies, games and social media all from our smart teach means we can go hours without moving much, especially when binge-watching box sets on Netflix. Interacting with entertainment in this way means we have dramatically reduced and worsened our sedentary behaviour, lacking in physical activity. Although it doesn’t sound so worrying, it is one of the most significant causes contributing to increased obesity and chronic illnesses.

2. Disruptive sleeping patterns

Using smart tech, more importantly, our phones before going to sleep can impact the type and quality of sleep we will get. The blue light that is emitted from electronic devices like smartphones from Smartphone Checker hinders the production of melatonin hormones which our bodies naturally produce to help us sleep.

The absence of these hormones means we are less likely to be able to sleep, disrupting our patterns, leading to feeling increasingly tired throughout the day.

The disruptive power of the blue lights has been tested by Harvard researchers who found that 6.5 hours of blue light exposure suppressed melatonin production for up to three hours. However, interestingly, exposure to green light of the same brightness was found to cause only 90 minutes of suppressed melatonin production.

Adress the problem, Apple has released a ‘Night Shift’ function on their handheld devices that automatically shifts the colour of its backing light to warmer tones in the evening, helping users sleep better.

Another option is to practice meditation before bed.

3. Increased physical injury

Smart tech causes us to be less active causing the muscles in our body to weaken due to a dramatic decrease in using them. They can also affect our immune systems and can have adverse effects on eyesight and the brain because due to the blue light.

How to break away from your tech

1. Outdoor activity

Connecting with people and nature is an excellent way to break away from smart tech. Doing so will also help you become physically fit again by using your muscle as they should, and it will have wondrous effects on your mind. Taking up a sport is also great and can help you remain disciplined in your task.

2. Reading a book

Reading physical books can be a great way to occupy and open your mind. They offer fewer interruptions and are healthier for your eyesight. Reading content which is of interest can also help you relax.

3. Hobbies

Hobbies are great not just for keeping away from your smart tech but because of the positive effect it can have on us. [READ: Best Hobbies For Mental Health]

Doing something we enjoy and learning new skills are directly linked to the makeup of our minds and the curiosity and feeds our desire to learn. Hobbies can include a number of activities such as arts and crafts, model building and so on. Indirectly hobbies such as knitting can help the cognitive functions in our brains which can help make them healthier.

For this reason, it is important to continually think about mindfulness in all aspects of our lives and use the tips above to help move away from our smart technology. Technology is great but over time it will steal way form you moments and time that we won’t get back which is why making a change today is more important than ever.

By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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