A growing trend in addictions treatment these days is for help distancing from electronic and social media. Many who face these problems are standing on the precipice of new challenges facing the human race as we become more and more tech savvy and tech dependent. With media designed to lure us in and keep us scrolling for hours it’s not surprising that those wanting to limit activity online can find themselves trying and struggling to distance themselves.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to decide how much time electronics take up in your day-to-day activities:
You could try another experiment. Head to a local coffee shop or restaurant and people watch for a while. See who is on their phones/tablets/computers and how often are these devices pulled out. As I’m writing this at a coffee shop I am glancing around and see a driver in the drive through checking his phone while he waits, and almost every person around me using their phone, computer, or tablet (including me).
According to a recent Nielsen report* Americans spend 50 of the 168 hours in a week in front of a screen, or approximately 30% of our lives. While tech can be very helpful the time, energy, and other resources given to screen time can have a steep price in missed opportunities. What do we do if we are stuck scrolling for longer than desired and missing out on life?
Enter addictions treatment for electronic dependencies. This isn’t an official title, but one I think fits with what we might be up against. Addiction treatment focuses on learning how to:
For instance, noticing the impulse to reach for the phone immediately after waking and instead of acting on that impulse choosing another form of behavior. It sounds simple, but with deeply entrenched habits it can take lots of practice to slow things down enough to make a different choice. In the end this form of treatment helps us take back our lives from the mindless activities that suck us in before we know it and keep us scrolling even when the behavior is adding little to nothing to our quality of life.
For tips on how to disconnect with problematic screen dependency check out my blog: 5 Tips to Overcome Electronics Addiction Using Mindfulness
You can read more about a mindful approach to recovery by checking out: Mindful Recovery by: Thomas and Beverly Bien
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I am a therapist in private practice working to assist those struggling with self-doubt, guilt/shame, addiction, anxiety, depression, and grief to decreasing the struggle with internal distress and commit to actions that move them closer to the things they value most.