There are two legal substances in this photo. I exhibit habitual, compulsive behaviors around one of them. UPDATE 2020: This writing has been migrated to The Afterglow, my members-only private publication. Join today and get instant access to this post, and so much more. < Previous Post #MeToo pissed me off until I looked inside to see why Next Post > Rockabilly & pin-up maternity clothing for retro mamas About the Author: Ariel @findyourafterglow Author of three editions of the Offbeat Bride book and From Shitshow To Afterglow, Ariel Meadow Stallings is the publisher of of all the Offbeat Empire websites, including Offbeat Wed. You can find her at @arielmstallings on Insta.
Comments on Stoner vs Smartphoner: Examining compulsions and finding they’re not what you’d think
Love this and Feel this so much! Thank you for sharing your experiences with it!
Well now I know how I am spending the rest of my morning. Reading through all this links.
I actually truely appreciate knowing I am not the only one who spends a lot (a lot alot) of time researching addiction and behavior.
One thing I’m being careful with here is using the word “addiction”… I’m comfortable with saying I have compulsive and habitual behaviors, but addiction gets into a pretty serious realm of behavior that I don’t have that much first-person experience with. I have family members who’ve been in 12 step programs for decades, and so I have profound respect for the recovery community… and I don’t want to pretend I have more knowledge about the horrors of addiction than I do.
I actually have most of my notifications silenced on my phone for this very reason. I used to get that ping of anxiety from the notifications (Sorry if I’m slow to respond on Slack sometimes!).
Adding on to that, I uninstalled Facebook, Twitter and a few other apps last month. Why? I don’t need to constantly be notified or lose track of time scrolling through the same thing day in and day out. I still use Facebook via Chrome on my phone, but it can’t push notifications and I don’t have an urge to check it all of the time.
I still find myself checking other things on my phone quite often, but they are things I’m interested in and don’t just look at unconsciously. I can definitely relate though and not having the constant barrage of messages/notifications from apps coming in is nice.
So much yes. Right at the beginning of when smart phones were becoming prolific, I started a super stressful job. A job that encouraged me to use my smart phone to stay connected. I had email pings almost every 15 minutes, 24-7… and it was the most stressed I’d ever been. I lost about 40lbs in three months because I wasn’t eating and was always awake. I knew that the notifications were part of what was stressing me out…. but I had to stay connected and earn brownie points for the new job!!! When I deleted my work email off my phone, my stress decreased by 50%. Needless to say, I only lasted a year, but man – I feel like corporate America took the idea of constant connectivity and ran with it. I wouldn’t doubt we start seeing SERIOUS health issues in a few years from it!
This post is great, thanks! And I just realized I should totally delete my phone’s Facebook app because I keep checking it habitually, and there’s almost never anything new there. Easy fix!
Twitter-scrolling, on the other hand, is very difficult for me to keep under control because there actually always is something new there every few minutes. I have tried to make rules like “only check social media X number of times a day,” and I always break the rule.
I also like thinking about this topic because I’m a professor, and though I hate to see my students glancing at unrelated material on their phones in class, I do recognize that for many of them, the behavior is compulsive/habitual and difficult to stop even if they want to.
Thank you! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I have really noticed my attention span dwindling in the last few years, and it’s really started to bother me. I already keep my phone on silent all the time, but as you said, I still reach for it for no reason, just to see if I’ve received any notifications. I think you just inspired me to remove Facebook from my phone, at least temporarily.