Our phones are addictive. We are addicted. And we’re finding excuses to keep us on there.
My personal excuse has been “I wouldn’t be on there but I have to for my business”.
Well, it’s got to the point that I’d rather not have a business than waste one more year sucked into a virtual world of mental torture.
It sounds extreme but this is exactly what I saw when I shut everything down in December.
I have been suffering with social media addiction under the lie that it’s “important for work” and now I’m sharing my thoughts…
The phones have conditioned us to need them more, and the outside world less. Real, physical connection less. Filling our mind with how things SHOULD be. Making us want to be someone else/ wear something else/ do something else, feeling unworthy, comparing ourselves every single second of the day.
Sometimes unconsciously because we have no idea what our brain is processing.
Dopamine hit after dopamine hit.
If we feel lonely or bored, let’s reach for our phone. Without us even realising it’s happening.
We struggle to be in the silence.
When was the last time you stood in a queue and didn’t get our your phone?
So many of us all want to be an influencer of sorts.For what? And why?
To feel noticed in the world, to feel worthy.
For the way we dress, for our make up, our house, the way we clean, the food we eat, our kids clothes. And then we see more, and we want more, and we spend more, so we can be and feel more.
More. More. More.
It’s like a pyramid scheme of fake happiness.
Please someone notice us so we feel like our life is of value. And this is happening under our conscious awareness so we have no idea we’re being pulled in.
New Brain Wiring
We’re missing out on real life and on the opportunity to connect with others. Deep, human connection. Touch that raises oxytocin (our happy, bonding hormone), and instead we have a rush of cortisol (our stress hormone)
We get on the train, we look at our screens.
My favourite… we watch fireworks through a screen to show others later.
We film our favourite moments so all our memories are of our pictures rather than the event itself.
When did we just stop and enjoy the moment will all our senses?
Why are people contemplating picking up their phone and filming themselves when they’re crying? When they have an accident? What has the phone done to the wiring of our brain that this is even a thought?
Why aren’t we seeking out actual people to share our lives with instead? Where we can get a physical hug if we feel sad?
I can’t eat a meal without thinking “I should film and post this”.
WTF is happening to our brains?
Anger & Validation
The other dark side of social is that it generates anger, resentment and disgust.
We’re exposed to SO many points of view. So many differing points of view. And sometimes to be heard in a sea of noise people have to make their point stand out… be passionate, be aggressive, be controversial. The response to this has two reactions:
1. Someone is like us and we feel validated (i.e. we’re turning to social media to feel worthy)
2. We completely disagree and feel either disgusted, angry or alone, which means we need to spend more time on social media, either voicing our own opinions, telling that person they were wrong. OR alternatively, if we’re not vocal, we just continue scrolling to find someone who is more like us, to help remove the feeling of aloneness and unworthiness. ARGHHHH.
Another need for a dopamine hit
The other thing with social is:
3. We want more STUFF because other people have all this stuff… clothes, gadgets, experiences… there is never enough.
I had coaches teach me about money mindset blocks so I would be comfortable with wanting more… meanwhile they had big houses, luxury vacations, and everything on their ‘vision board’… BUT… they still wanted more. When would there be enough?
Celebrities I admired have come out saying they take their phone to bed, and they’re ALWAYS posting videos and stories of their lives… that CANNOT be a well-connected life, surely?
When is enough, enough?
We’ve somehow entered a world where we feel the need to share our most personal moments, from operations to miscarriages, death of our relatives to birthday wishes for our child who can’t read and isn’t on social media… some of it is with complete strangers just to be seen, heard, validated, and to feel worthy. To make money too.
The tech and the algorithms fuel us and reward us subconsciously to keep us there, using the platforms, for companies to make money.
I worry about what our children are seeing, when our heads are down replying to messages, hidden in a screen.
Our evenings are physically spent next to our partners, but mentally we’re dreaming in a virtual world of someone’s marketing tactics.
I'm making a change...
I’ve tried to set boundaries with myself, turning off notifications, setting timers etc… but it doesn’t work for me unless it’s all removed. So I’m rethinking everything.
I’m looking at swapping my smart phone for one of the old school brick ones and just going back to basics.
I won’t be filming my activities or sharing my life with a virtual world. If you want to know things, we’ll have to see each other in person! YAY!
I’ll be sending out more newsletters, and perhaps writing more, so if you want to keep up to date with well-being and any events, make sure you subscribe below.
I’m ready to start my proper, real-life, life and see if my brain will quieten down again.
Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t and I’ll be back… but I’m sure as heck going to try!
The hallmarks of addiction are thinking about the thing when you’re not having it; experiencing withdrawal; needing it more; it starts to ruin life and relationships.
If you can even relate to some of this, maybe it’s time to come join me…