Lesson 3 of 11
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What is Phone Addiction?

Phone addiction may sound silly to some readers who remember a time before smartphones and 5G internet, but it is a real and serious issue plaguing thousands of people every single day. Consider another term for phone addiction – this term is referred to as “nomophobia, ” which is the fear of being without a mobile phone.

This type of addiction is a disorder that involves the compulsive overuse of mobile devices. These compulsive habits are typically quantified by the total amount of time that a person is online within an average day, as well as the total number of times a person accesses their phone. However, compulsive overuse is just one facet of phone addiction.

This type of addiction is typically supplemented by concurring internet addiction. This is when a person cannot control their urges and behaviors regarding computer use and the internet. This can lead to someone suffering from psychological distress, as well as mental and physical impairment.

Worse yet, it is extremely easy for a modern-day person to become addicted to the internet. At the beginning of the internet revolution in the late twentieth century, the internet was relatively difficult to access – you had to be technologically- savvy to successfully surf the web.

 Nowadays, this process has been simplified and color-coded through social media and other apps. Rather than having to understand a computer programming language and perform a series of keystrokes, now with a click of a button and a swipe right you can access any kind of content you could imagine. Plus, due to factors that will be discussed below, it is extremely easy to endlessly scroll and lost sense of time due to the ease of access.

Short Term Memory Problems

Short-term memory loss is when someone forgets something that was experienced recently.

This is something normal that happens as people age, but it can also be a sign of a deeper problem. Incidents involving short- term memory loss seem to be occurring much more frequently among people from the younger generations. Sometimes this happens due to brain damage, illness, or a mental health issue. Overuse of phones has been linked to short-term memory problems. There is a known term for this unfortunate phenomenon. This is known as “digital amnesia.” The researchers at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute have revealed that increasing exposure to devices does in fact negatively affect the memory of adolescents.

The type of memory that is damaged is called “figural memory.” This form of memory helps a human make sense of patterns, shapes, and images. This process happens in the right hemisphere of the brain.

 It has been suggested for some time that smartphones may reduce the cognitive capacity of a person. Cognitive capacity refers to the total amount of information the brain is capable of retaining at any particular moment in time. Phones can drain the cognitive capacity of a person, thus limiting the ability for a person to successfully complete a task even if they are not using a device at the time of the task!