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Mindfulness and the Smart Phone

August 21, 2018

              How long can you go without looking at your phone? How does our constant attachment to these devices impact our social lives and mental health? As it turns out, there is research to suggest that the distraction of smart phones actually hinders our ability to enjoy the company of others. It is highly possible that we are missing the special moments in our lives due to the distraction of devices in our hands.

              Evidence shows that social connectedness is imperative to improved mental and physical health. Social involvement allows for stronger feelings of being loved, valued, and supported by others. We know that one of the hallmark symptoms of depression is isolation, or a lack of social engagement coupled with the desire to be alone. Often, this results from negative feelings about ourselves or a belief that we are undeserving of love and support, which is then fostered by our isolation, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

              When we add smart phones and other devices into this equation, the cycle continues. We may even trick ourselves into believing that we are not isolating because we are socially engaged on Facebook and other social media sites, but this engagement is artificial. Even if we spend time on our phones “engaging” with others, we are still putting up a wall between ourselves and others by not connecting in person. And even if we do spend time with friends and family face-to-face, we are still missing out on the full experience by allowing phones and other devices to get in the way of being present in those moments.

              What’s the point? Be mindful of how often you pick up your phone when you are spending time with others and put it down as often as possible. Do not allow social media to be a poor substitute for real interaction and conversation. Most of all, be aware of how your feelings about yourself may be stopping you from being socially engaged and receiving the love and support you need and deserve.

Original material found at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180810161553.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/

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