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Seven ways to overcome gadget addiction

gadget addiction

Human lives have been inadvertently synchronised to several gadgets such that several smart devices can be seen on a person every minute.

Gadgets like smartphones, smart watches, computers, earpieces, and air pods, among others, have become daily tools for almost every child and adult.

Undoubtedly, gadget dependence leads to addiction. A survey carried out on adult and teenage gadget users in the United States of America reports that an average smartphone user checks their phone every 12 minutes, while 50 per cent of the respondents feel uneasy when they are not with their phones.

Another study submits that people who are separated from their gadgets, especially mobile phones, for long hours, begin to manifest withdrawal symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

A health journal, Harvard Health Blog, defines addiction as a relationship between a person and an object or activity such that the latter becomes increasingly more important than the previous activities.

The Chief Executive Officer at Maocular Tech Expert, Michael Akinwumi, says that gadget addiction is a habit done over time that becomes or forms one’s habit or character.

Also, a tech expert and founder of a software development company, e86 Limited, Olugbenga Odeyemi, says gadget addiction sets in when the tools designed to make tasks easier begin to degrade the quality of human lives.

The consequences of gadget addiction are lack of focus and attention span, memory loss, stress and anxiety, headaches, eye problems and backaches, among others. Overall, gadget addiction harms the physical, emotional and mental state of humans.

The journey to addiction recovery might take time but possible if conscious and intentional steps are taken.

Be deliberate

Fighting gadget addiction requires setting a reasonable goal and being deliberate and disciplined to achieve the goal.

Akinwumi says that conscious efforts should be taken to reduce gadget reliance on daily activities.

Odeyemi adds, “One of the best ways to overcome gadget addiction is to plan activities that do not require you to spend too much time on your devices. Avoiding the use of gadgets can be accomplished through the use of card games, board games, paperback books, and outings with friends and family.”

Also, an accounting software specialist and CEO of Leadway Training and Technology Institute, Onyekachi Nwaozuzu, says discipline is a skill gadget users must have.

Nwaozuzu notes, “Before the advent of technology, we were once human beings. The essence of technology is to make us effective human beings and not liabilities so discipline is important in using gadgets.”

 Reduce social media surfing

Social media applications account for 44 per cent of an average user’s gadget usage. Findings reveal that globally, there are 3.8 billion active social media users and an average user spends one hour 16 minutes daily on the top five social media apps.

To this, Odeyemi says, “I believe that people should spend less time on social media arguing and more time learning from others. You do not have to agree with every thought or idea, nor do you have to respond to everything and everyone. One of the reasons people spend so much time on gadgets is the need for arguments, which leads to stress and unhappiness.”

Use time-controlled apps

Time-controlling applications can be used to overcome gadget addiction.

Akinwumi states that there are applications on smart devices that monitor the amount of time spent on each application and can be programmed to restrict selected functions during designated periods.

He adds, “There is an application on smartphones called Digital Wellbeing that tells the user the number of hours spent using an application. With this application, one can also set the timing for rest. During that period, one has limited access to the applications on the device. Applications like Offtime and Rescuetime, among others, also help to monitor the number of hours spent on the device and restrict application usage.”

Odeyemi also advises, “Another option is to make a sleep schedule (on the gadgets). Every day at 8.30pm, all of my devices go into ‘sleep’ mode. When I enable this mode, I no longer receive notifications for chats and phone calls. This allows me to unwind and concentrate on other things while getting ready for bed.”

 Switch to non-screen activities

The reliance on gadgets for simple and everyday tasks has made human activities revolve around them.

But Akinwunmi says, “We need to take a rest from our devices and engage in outdoor activities. For example, to be free from the temptation of using your smart devices to check the time, you can use an analogue clock. This will eliminate the temptation of using your gadget to check the time and then being carried away by it.”

Nwaozuzu also calls for an engagement in outdoor activities to tackle gadget reliance.

He adds, “Frequently, have direct contact with nature without the interference of gadgets. Also, spend time physically with human beings, read books the conventional way and make a rule to put the gadget away when it is time to sleep.”

Be accountable

Having an accountability partner would further help to ensure commitment to being free from addiction.

Akinwunmi says, “Most people addicted to their devices are not doing so because they are using it for work purposes. Therefore, having an accountability partner would serve as a check and balance. However, in some cases, the individual might need to seek professional help.

 Plan your day

Nwaozuzu notes that daily activities should not be hinged on gadget usage, therefore adequate time should be paid to other daily tasks.

He adds that once individuals plan their day, setting the rules to ensure that the day goes as planned is necessary.

 Define gadget use

“When the purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable,” says Myles Munroe. To this, Nwaozuzu advises gadget users to define the usage of each gadget in their work and personal lives.

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