Photo Source: Ryan Johnson for NPR
Last week we spoke about “Thin Slices of Joy” and living in the present. Have you tried it, yet?
And so in honor of Valentine’s day tomorrow and living in the present, I thought we would talk about a recent interview I heard on detoxing from Smartphones. I know, eye roll, and how trendy, right? Wrong. David Greenfield, a psychologist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut found that hearing a notification from our phone is identical to the study Ivan Pavlov did over a century ago. Greenfield compares us to those dogs and warns us that high usage of our telephones can cause serious disorders and addiction.
According to Greenfield, the average user checks their phone 50 to 300 times a day and compares it to gamblers on slot machines. In another study, Dr. Anna Lembke, a psychiatrist at Stanford University, considers this problem a “spectrum disorder” that can go from mild to extreme forms. She doesn’t think we should stop using our phones completely, that would be too much of an extreme, but does advise us to consider controlling our use of the phone and being more present.
Dr. Lembke suggests we spend less time on our phones to help increase our creativity, enjoyable time with family and friends and efficient time at work.
But before you decide to take on the challenge of detoxing from your phone, as this week’s exercise, I invite you to listen to this fascinating report:
When you are done listening, I challenge you to turn off your phone for the next 24 hours and enjoy Valentine’s day without any interruptions or notifications and instead, soak in the pleasures of such a romantic day!
And in case you are curious, a little video on the history of Valentine’s day!