The Family Recharge Station...
Hello, my name is Jeanette and I think I may be a phone addict... and this is what I had to do
The first step in overcoming a problem is to admit you have one.
The second is to design a way to change your behaviour, and this is how our Family Recharging Station came about.
Addiction may be a strong word, but my phone use definitely started to interfere in my daily routine. I have long argued that my phone use is productive, rather than something that controls me, but I had to put it to the test...
The more I read about it, the more of a problem I had to admit I had.
This is a check-list I came across:
Indicators of problematic phone use
There is no cut-off point to show you are addicted to your phone which everyone agrees to but here are some indicators.
- You spend continuous hours on the phone to play games, scroll through social media, open and close apps, text people to invite a chat, etc.
- You frequently pick up the phone without any aim to check for notifications or see if something has changed in your social feeds.
- Your online and offline behavior gets more integrated and you don’t know what you did in the digital reality or the material reality.
- You get restless if your phone is dead or has a low battery, is out-of-coverage, or is low on data/balance.
- You treat your phone as a security blanket without which you get uncomfortable in social gatherings.
- Your day-to-day activities take a backseat, relationships are strained, and you can’t focus and commit to the important things in your life.
- You feel bad about yourself and you go online to feel good but you end up feeling worse looking at what others are doing. Such compulsive phone use is likely to emerge from other mental health issues.
It does not look as if I am alone in this. Not only did I see a similar behaviour in my children (and they do not have the excuse of keeping an eye on the order flow in a small business). Research on this subject is worrying:
Statistics on phone and internet use
- Almost 6.4 billion people (81% population) use a smartphone in 2021.
- According to a 2019 report, the average person spends about 3.5 hours on their phone in a day with the top 20% of people spending more than 4.5 hours a day. The quarantine has increased these numbers – many users report over 8 hours a day.
- The 2019 report also says that 70% of all phone use lasts lesser than 2 minutes and 50% of all phone pickups occur within 3 minutes of the previous pickup.
- 68% of 18-34 year-olds can’t go an hour without their phone and 71% sleep next to it.
- 96% of Gen Z Americans won’t go to the toilet without their phone.
- Another 2019 report (2018 data) says at least 3.3 billion people use the internet and social media from their phones.
- Comscore’s 2019 Global state of mobilereport says 70% of all digital media engagement in the US happens from a smartphone. So TV, games, laptops, gaming consoles, theatres, etc. are all squeezed into the tiny remainder of 30%.
As with all new technology it takes time to find a healthy way to incorporate it in our daily lives. The data above suggests we have some way to go.
However, did you know that in the 1500s some considered the mass distribution of printed books to be dangerous..? Now we do anything to encourage children to read.
What is the correct etiquette for phones and devices? I think we are still working it out... And that means we can still be part of shaping it for the future!
Suggestions for healthy device use:
- No phones at the dinner table.
- Do not keep your phone on your person when you are at home.
- Keep your phone out of sight when you are socialising.
- Schedule times when you do not use your phone.
- Do not keep your phone on your bedside table.
This is exactly what we had in mind when we designed our Family Recharging Station as a place to keep your devices when you are recharging the batteries physically and metaphorically.
The perfect way to make sure you always know where your iPad is, a a great holder for your device when you are on zoom calls, watching films or following instruction videos. Personalise them for the office, gym or kitchen. Also a fabulous present for grandparents.