Are you addicted to your smartphone?
You’re not alone. Our cell phones are usually the first thing we look at when we wake up, and the last thing we see before we fall asleep.
Our phones keep us connected, organized, and endlessly entertained. That said, spending too much time on your phone can decrease your focus on your academics. Not only that, it can adversely affect your mental health.
Before you judge yourself for the amount of time you’re spending on your phone, understand that there is a reason you’re doing it. Often, we’ll look down at our phone and see something that makes us happy — a like on an Instagram post, a new friend request, a message from a crush.
All of this causes our brain’s reward center to release dopamine. Think of dopamine as a “feel-good chemical”. It reinforces behaviour that makes us feel happy, and in doing so can create addiction. However, there are good reasons to start breaking the habit of compulsive cell phone use, such as your sense of well-being and your grades.
Firstly, overuse of cellphones can increase your feelings of loneliness and social isolation. We often compare ourselves negatively to others on social media, or feel like we’re missing out.
Being on your phone all the time can also lead to physical consequences such as eye strain, sleeplessness, and neck pain.
Lastly, phone overuse can have a negative effect on your academic achievement, productivity and time management skills.
As an example, if you’re using study time to text and go on Instagram, your ability to focus on your studies will decrease. This may turn what should be an hours’ worth of homework into three hours.
The good news is that being aware of the problem is the first step towards fixing it.
If you find that you must use your cellphone, we also share ways to positively use Social Media in order to enhance your college experience!
It’s very important to dedicate your time towards keeping your body and mind healthy. You may feel a huge change and shift due to being in a different environment. That is completely okay! We share ways to handle change in a new environment in our post here.
In addition, here are some great phone apps that you can download towards cutting down your cell phone use:
Focusing on other interests like exercise, hobbies, outdoor activities and socializing with people offline can help you cope with cravings to use your cell phone. Perhaps check out different cafes in Vancouver with friends?
In addition, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and deep breathing also helps calm the mind.
A great way to diversify your offline life is by checking out the various volunteer opportunities on campus! This is a great way to meet new people and play an active role at AC.
If you’d like to learn more coping strategies for minimizing cell phone use, contact Kerry-Anne Holloway, our Health and Wellness Counsellor for confidential appointments with students at 604-780-1799 or firstname.lastname@example.org