Set Boundaries With Your Smartphones to Improve Overall Health
Written by Bryce Smith

Fifteen years ago, the Internet was an escape from the real world. You could unwind while emailing an old friend, chatting on AOL instant messenger, or play some mean games of solitaire or Minesweeper. Now the real world is an escape from the Internet. We have become so dependent on the Internet for work and validation that we often times become addicted, forget to unplug, spend minimal time outside, and are constantly checking our phones. Smartphone addiction has become a real thing and we see it in the fitness world every day with the typical forward head tilt, internally rotated shoulders, and rounded upper backs.

Smartphone Addiction is Real
This phone addiction actually has a real name called “Nomophobia,” which stands for “NO MObile PHOne phoBIA.” This addiction might negatively affect your social life, and relationships with friends or family. Some people with this phone addiction tend to avoid face-to-face interactions, have high levels of social anxiety, and may even battle depression (1).

What Smartphone Addiction is Doing to Our Bodies & Health
Some of the health ramifications include poor posture as mentioned above that can affect ones spine, respiratory function, and even emotion (1). Lots of people these days are battling text neck which is a cramping and stabbing pain that comes from looking down at your phone for too long. And lastly, the blue light emitted from smartphones and other internet devices can significantly disrupt our sleep by hindering melatonin production (1). Our smartphones make us accessible to all people, all the time, but where does it stop? How can we live a healthy life in a society that is so dependent on easy and convenient communication?

Start Setting Smartphone Boundaries
Adopt Jason Khalipa’s AMRAP mentality also known to simply be in the moment. AMRAP stands for as many rounds or repetitions as possible in a certain time domain. So instead of answering email, text, facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, and snapchat anywhere and all the time, set certain timelines as to when you will be on your smartphone. Perform a twenty minute AMRAP of emails twice a day – in the morning and night – and watch your productivity in the rest of your life skyrocket because you are not a slave to email.

There is something to be said about the dopamine release when playing on your sexy devices, but by setting boundaries, it allows the other aspects of your life to flourish; like relationships, like being in nature, like playtime, like exercise, and like meditation. Practice setting boundaries with your smartphone and watch your life improve. I will leave you with a little saying that will keep you thinking, “There is no wifi in nature, but you will find a better connection.”

References:
1) LaMotte, Sandee. “Smartphone Addiction Could Be Changing Your Brain.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 Dec. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/11/30/health/smartphone-addiction-study/index.html.

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Joel W
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Joel W

I set my boundary about five years ago. I got rid of it and use just a regular wireless phone, minimally at that. It has this amazing App too. Its called Phone. I can actually speak to people with the App.

Michele Vieux
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Michele Vieux

Great tip! Thank’s Joel!

Joel W
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Joel W

Another helpful practice is to subconsciously celebrate when out in public and the battery dies. Not getting even a fleeting thought of the phone for a few hours is very liberating.

Michele Vieux
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Michele Vieux

Isn’t it?! About once a month, I realize halfway to work that I’ve forgot my phone…and I don’t even turn around to get it! Bwa ha ha ha!

Joel W
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Joel W

A digital detox once in a while, if even for only an hour, is nourishment for the soul.