Cell Phones Still Own Us

Relationship with cell phones

In the world without boundary, our relationship with the cell phones is a major key factor affecting our productivity.

I may have quoted this here before, but it’s right on again with the context of this post.

The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything. (Chuck PalahniukFight Club)

Our possessions are supposed to make our life easier. However, there are certain things that we own and depending on our relationship with them, divert us from doing tasks we are supposed to do.

Cell phones can be an issue when we start being addicted to playing games, texting, reading mindlessly, Instagram-ing, watching Youtube and Netflix, that all of our time end up being spent in front of the screen – day in till night out. I guess I don’t really have to explain that, it’s in everyone’s daily life now. It’s everyone’s problem.

Dopamine fix

There is an excitement and adrenaline rush that comes with getting a text response or notification on our phone. This excitement increase dopamine level which is the pleasure and reward systems in our brains. With that, the cell phone is indeed a quick access to stimulate ourselves. Uncontrolled usage easily leads us to addiction.

On top of that, there are also other addictive things accessible from our phone i.e video games, drama series, and pornography.

As we all know, one of the benefits of minimalism is to increase our productivity.

Get rid of your TV, so you won’t watch it all day and live instead. Get rid of your clutter, so you have more clear spaces in your house that leads to clearer minds and better moods. Get rid half of your clothing, so you won’t waste most of your weekends doing laundry – washing, drying, folding and ironing, then arranging all the items that you don’t even get the chance to wear.

We still need our cell phones

The solution with cell phones, however, is not to get rid of them. You can always do that if you have an extreme willpower to do so. We still need our cell phones for many important reasons other than social media, Youtube and Netflix.

Everything that we do on other gadgets are pretty much executable with this little device. Tasks like taking and editing pictures, navigating maps, keeping up to date with latest TV shows, and creating presentation slides (who needs a camera, GPS, TV, and computer now?). We can practically survive with nothing else but a cell phone.

It is now our everything, our best friend, our second life, the door to the world – to our outer-self until we realize that we are actually caged in.

How to kill the addiction?

We can kill the addiction by creating good habits around using our cell phone. Here are some of the useful tips you can try:-

  1. Track your usage. Be aware of what you’re doing with your phone. What is your pattern? What are you using your phones for? There are many mobile apps available to track your usage and cure your addiction i.e Social Fever and MyAddictometer for Android and Moment for iOS. Being aware is the first step to cure.
  2. Delete stubborn apps. One of my friends deletes the Instagram apps on her phone on a regular basis. She will download it every time she needs to check it. I also know a person who only opens Facebook using his computer and never asks his browser to remember the password. Then, he sets a very long complicated password for it. These might sound extreme to you but the key is to increase resistance into checking your accounts. As for me, I’ve deleted Netflix on my phone within one month of me having an account. The struggle is real, I just couldn’t handle it.
  3. Turn off the notification. It is possible to turn everything off! If it’s really emergency, people can always call.
  4. If you’re working at home like me, use your phone only at designated area far away from your office and bedroom.
  5. Trust your phone with your parents or spouse when you’re with them so you give full attention and have more quality time with your loved ones. Lock it well if you have things to hide.

I hope these tips will help you and me improve our relationship with the cell phones. Have a productive week ahead!

And to all Muslim, now it’s the Quran over cell phones time. The Ramadhan mode is ON.

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2 Comments

  1. I actually lost mine 2 days ago… still unaware of it’s final fate — but something feels nice about it. My approach is very minimal: no online usage whatsoever & no apps. just a phone. 🙂 now I just need to figure out how to stop losing it.

    1. Sorry to hear that but it’s like an unplanned sabbatical for you which is somehow good. Hope you find it soon. Perhaps, I need to try your approach. Thanks for commenting!

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