Do you ever find yourself subconsciously and repetitively locking and unlocking your phone; and scrolling through the endless amounts of updates in the synthetic realm? It’s like your conscious mind has no control over the up motion of your fingertips; as you chew up your precious time engaging into the fake portrayal of the lives of your many acquaintances! Have you ever consciously tried to minimize the amount of time you utilize on your smart device by switching your phone off, leaving it in another room, moving it out of your sight, or even to the extent of giving it to another individual to hold onto it for you? Then for a short period of time, you feel at ease until your mind begins to crave the re-connection into the artificial space? If this describes you, then you share the resemblance to the patterns occurring at a neuron level to that of a drug addict, smoker or compulsive eater. You have an addiction. I know this because I’ve had to re-program my brain to disrupt the patterns occurring at a neurological level to overcome this destructive habit.
A phone addiction becomes destructive when the habit is embedded into the subconscious; meaning the act is occurring without the conscious mind realizing. Don’t believe it? I’m sure many of you find your phone in your hand before you even know you are searching for it, or tap the home button absent-mindedly. To rewire a habit occurring at the subconscious level, firstly we need to understand habitual processes. The generalized process of a habit respectively occurs as follows: cue, routine, and reward.
For instance, a cue may be momentary anxiety. A smoker would light up and smoke a cigarette (routine); and temporarily reduce anxiety levels (reward). Simply to quit smoking, a smoker needs to isolate the specific cue and alter the routine to yield the same reward. Now let’s see how this is relative to that of a phone addict.