Welcome to our digital detoxing series! A series on how to stop addictions toFortnite,Facebook,Instagram,porn,Netflix, Youtube,Tinder… Findall the posts about digital addiction. Today, let’s talk about how to quit the apps addiction.
- What’s the apps addiction?
- Addiction to apps, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered apps addiction
- How much apps is too much?
- Some technology addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the apps addiction
- Why is apps so addictive?
- Possible causes of apps dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of apps addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of apps
- Some benefits of apps
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your apps addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the apps addiction
- Best apps blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with apps addiction
- Best books about technology addiction
- Research about technology addiction
What is the apps addiction?
Apps are software applications designed to run on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These applications provide a range of services and functions, such as communication, entertainment, productivity, and more. Users can download apps from app stores or directly from developers’ websites.
Addiction to apps, a “real” addiction?
Officially an addiction?
First, let’s have a look to the DSM-5,the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Does it includes apps addiction?
No, apps addiction is not listed as a specific disorder in the DSM-5. However, it may fall under the category of “Internet Gaming Disorder” or “Other Specified Internet-Related Disorder” if the excessive use of apps is causing significant impairment or distress in one’s daily life. It is important to note that excessive use of apps may be a symptom of an underlying mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, and seeking professional help may be necessary.
So what means “apps addiction”?
App addiction refers to a compulsive behavior of excessive use of mobile applications or apps, to the extent that it negatively impacts an individual’s personal and professional life. It is a type of behavioral addiction where people become overly dependent on mobile devices and apps, often leading to neglect of other important aspects of their lives such as work, family, and relationships. Symptoms of app addiction may include spending excessive amounts of time on apps, feeling anxious or restless when unable to access them, and neglecting personal responsibilities in favor of app use.
What is considered apps addiction?
The following are some criteria that can be used to diagnose an app addiction:
- 1. Preoccupation with the app: The person spends a lot of time thinking about the app, even when they are not using it.
- 2. Loss of control: The person has difficulty controlling their use of the app, and finds it hard to stop using it.
- 3. Neglecting other activities: The person spends so much time on the app that they neglect other activities such as work, school, or social activities.
- 4. Withdrawal symptoms: The person experiences anxiety, restlessness, or irritability when they are unable to use the app.
- 5. Tolerance: The person needs to use the app more frequently or for longer periods of time to achieve the same level of enjoyment or satisfaction.
- 6. Continued use despite negative consequences: The person continues to use the app despite negative consequences such as social isolation, poor academic or work performance, or financial problems.
- 7. Interference with daily life: The person’s use of the app interferes with their ability to carry out daily activities and responsibilities.
It is important to note that the diagnosis of app addiction should be made by a qualified healthcare professional.
How much apps is too much?
Excessive use of apps can have negative effects on one’s physical and mental well-being, social life, and productivity. The amount of time spent on apps that is considered too much varies depending on individual circumstances and needs. Some experts suggest limiting screen time to no more than 2 hours per day for children and teenagers, while others suggest taking regular breaks from screens throughout the day. It is important to monitor your own app usage and consider reducing it if it is interfering with your daily life or causing negative effects.
Some technology addiction facts & statistics
Technology addiction is a growing concern in today’s world. Here are some statistics related to technology addiction:
- 1. According to a 2019 survey by Common Sense Media, 50% of teens feel addicted to their mobile devices.
- 2. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 28% of adults in the US feel they are constantly online.
- 3. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 43% of Americans are constantly checking their electronic devices for email, texts, or social media updates.
- 4. A survey conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK found that social media is the most addictive technology, with 63% of respondents reporting that they check their social media accounts at least once a day.
- 5. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, students were asked to give up all technology for 24 hours. Many of the participants experienced withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and even physical symptoms such as headaches.
- 6. A study conducted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that excessive use of mobile phones can lead to sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety.
- 7. According to the World Health Organization, internet addiction disorder (IAD) is a real condition that can have serious negative consequences on an individual’s mental and physical health.
Is the apps addiction widespread?
Yes, there are many people who are addicted to apps. With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, people are spending more time on apps for social media, gaming, entertainment, and productivity. The constant notifications, rewards, and easy accessibility of apps can make them addictive, leading to compulsive use and negative impacts on mental health, social life, and productivity. Studies have shown that app addiction can be as harmful as other forms of addiction, such as drug or alcohol addiction.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of apps addiction
Why is apps so addictive?
There are several reasons why apps can be addictive:
- 1. Instant gratification: Apps provide instant feedback and reward, which can be addictive to humans who crave immediate results.
- 2. Social validation: Many apps are designed to provide social validation through likes, comments, and followers, which can be addictive to those who seek attention and approval.
- 3. Dopamine release: Apps can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, which can be addictive to those who seek pleasurable experiences.
- 4. Variable rewards: Apps often use a variable reward system, where users are rewarded for their actions at random intervals. This unpredictability can be addictive, as users keep coming back for the next reward.
- 5. FOMO (Fear of missing out): Apps can create a fear of missing out on important news, updates, or social events, which can be addictive to those who fear being left out.
Overall, apps have been designed to be addictive and keep users engaged, which is why it’s important to use them in moderation and be mindful of their impact on our mental health and well-being.
Possible causes of apps dependency
There are several potential causes of app addiction, including:
- 1. Easy access: Apps are available at our fingertips, making it easy to continuously check them.
- 2. Social validation: Social media apps provide a platform for seeking validation through likes, comments, and followers.
- 3. Fear of missing out (FOMO): The constant updates and notifications on apps can create a sense of urgency to check them to avoid missing out on anything.
- 4. Dopamine release: The use of apps can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, which creates a pleasurable sensation and can lead to addiction.
- 5. Boredom or stress: Apps can serve as a distraction from boredom or stress, creating a habit of constantly checking them.
- 6. Gamification: Many apps use gamification techniques, such as rewards and points, to keep users engaged and coming back for more.
- 7. Design and user experience: The design and user experience of apps are carefully crafted to keep users engaged and using them for longer periods.
Signs & Symptoms of apps addiction
Now let’s see if you have the apps addiction problem.
- 1. You constantly check your phone for notifications and spend a significant amount of time on apps.
- 2. You feel anxious or stressed when you are unable to access your favorite apps.
- 3. You prioritize using apps over spending time with friends and family or engaging in other activities.
- 4. You have multiple apps for the same purpose and cannot decide which one to use.
- 5. You have a large number of apps installed on your phone that you rarely or never use.
- 6. You feel a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment when you earn rewards or points on apps.
- 7. You have difficulty focusing on tasks or activities without the use of apps or technology.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of apps: should you quit?
What are some benefits of apps
There are several pros and advantages of apps, including:
- 1. Convenience: Apps are designed to be easy to use and access, making it convenient for users to access information or perform tasks on their mobile devices.
- 2. Personalization: Apps can be customized to fit the user’s preferences and needs, providing a more personalized experience.
- 3. Speed: Apps are optimized for mobile devices, making them faster than web pages or mobile websites.
- 4. Offline access: Many apps allow users to access content or perform tasks without an internet connection.
- 5. Push notifications: Apps can send push notifications to users, keeping them informed and engaged.
- 6. Improved user engagement: Apps provide a more immersive and interactive experience, leading to increased user engagement.
- 7. Monetization opportunities: Apps can be monetized through advertising, in-app purchases, or subscriptions.
Overall, apps are great because they provide a convenient, personalized, and fast way for users to access information and perform tasks on their mobile devices.But at the opposite, what can be some apps addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
Apps can have both positive and negative effects on your health depending on the nature of the app and how you use it. Here are some potential effects:
- 1. Improved fitness and physical activity: Health and fitness apps can help you track your exercises, set goals, and motivate you to stay active.
- 2. Better nutrition: Apps that include nutritional information and meal planning can help you make healthier food choices.
- 3. Improved mental health: Apps that provide meditation, relaxation, and stress-management techniques can help manage anxiety and promote better mental health.
- 4. Improved sleep: Apps that track sleep patterns and offer advice on how to improve sleep can help improve your overall health and wellbeing.
- 5. Better disease management: Apps that track symptoms and medications can help people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension.
- 1. Addiction: Some apps, such as social media and gaming apps, can lead to addiction and can negatively impact mental health.
- 2. Reduced physical activity: Some apps, such as social media, can distract you from physical activity and lead to a sedentary lifestyle.
- 3. Sleep disruption: Overuse of electronic devices, including apps, can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to poor sleep quality.
- 4. Cyberbullying: Social media apps can expose you to cyberbullying, which can impact mental health.
- 5. Privacy concerns: Some apps may collect personal information without your consent, leading to privacy concerns and potential security risks.
apps and sleep disorder
Yes, apps can contribute to sleep disorders or sleep problems if they are used improperly or excessively. Some apps, such as social media or gaming apps, can be addictive and may cause individuals to stay up late at night, leading to sleep deprivation.
Additionally, the blue light emitted from electronic screens can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. However, there are also apps designed to improve sleep by providing relaxation techniques, meditation, or white noise. It’s important to use electronic devices and apps in moderation and to establish a healthy sleep routine to avoid sleep disorders and problems.
apps affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of apps on your brain
Here are some potential negative effects of apps on the brain:
- 1. Addiction: Many apps, such as social media, gaming, and gambling apps, are designed to be addictive. They can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, which creates a sense of pleasure and reward. This can lead to compulsive use and addiction.
- 2. Reduced attention span: Apps can be distracting and can reduce our ability to focus for extended periods. Constant notifications and alerts can interrupt our thoughts and make it harder to concentrate.
- 3. Decreased memory: Relying on apps for information can reduce our ability to remember information. For example, relying on a GPS app for directions can make it harder to remember the route.
- 4. Negative impact on mental health: Social media apps can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Constant comparisons to others can make us feel inadequate and unhappy.
- 5. Sleep disruption: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt our sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep. This can lead to fatigue and other health issues.
- 6. Reduced face-to-face communication: Apps can make it easier to communicate with others, but they can also reduce face-to-face interactions. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Some effects of apps on your mental health
- 1. Addiction: Apps can be addictive, causing users to spend excessive amounts of time scrolling through their feeds, checking notifications, and engaging with content. This can lead to a loss of productivity and social isolation, which can in turn negatively impact mental health.
- 2. Anxiety and stress: Certain apps can create anxiety and stress due to the constant pressure to stay connected and up-to-date with notifications, messages, and emails. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and burnout.
- 3. Negative self-image: Social media apps can contribute to negative self-image and low self-esteem as users compare themselves to others and feel pressure to present a perfect image online.
- 4. Cyberbullying: Apps can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- 5. Sleep disruption: Using apps before bed can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue, irritability, and other negative impacts on mental health.
- 6. FOMO: Apps can contribute to the fear of missing out (FOMO), which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and stress.
- 7. Digital overload: Apps can contribute to a sense of digital overload, leading to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and other mental health challenges.
Does apps cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, apps can cause stress or anxiety. Here are a few examples:
- 1. Social media apps: Social media platforms can cause stress and anxiety due to the constant pressure to keep up with everyone and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Additionally, negative comments or cyberbullying can also cause stress and anxiety.
- 2. News apps: Constant exposure to negative news stories can cause stress and anxiety.
- 3. Productivity apps: Apps that track your productivity and goals can cause stress and anxiety if you feel like you’re not achieving enough or meeting your targets.
- 4. Gaming apps: Gaming apps can cause stress and anxiety due to the pressure to win and perform well.
It’s important to be mindful of how apps affect your mental health and take breaks when needed.
Can apps addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, app addiction can lead to sadness and depression. Spending an excessive amount of time on apps can lead to social isolation, which can cause feelings of loneliness and sadness. It can also lead to a decrease in physical activity and exercise, which can negatively impact mental health.
Additionally, constantly comparing oneself to others on social media can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem, which can contribute to depression. It’s essential to maintain a healthy balance between app usage and other aspects of life to avoid the negative effects of app addiction on mental health.
Dopamine and apps
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and reward in the brain. When we engage in activities that release dopamine, such as using certain apps, we feel a sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
Many apps are designed to take advantage of our brain’s dopamine response by creating experiences that are highly engaging and rewarding. For example, social media apps often use notifications, likes, and comments to create a sense of social validation and reward. Gaming apps often use leveling up and achievement badges to create a sense of progress and accomplishment.
While dopamine can be a positive motivator, it can also lead to addictive behaviors if we become too reliant on the rewards provided by apps. It’s important to be aware of the potential impact of apps on our dopamine levels and to use them in moderation.
apps effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, apps can affect focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance in both positive and negative ways.
– Productivity apps like task managers, calendars, and note-taking apps can help improve productivity and focus by providing a structured environment to manage tasks and deadlines.
– Educational apps and games can help improve attention span and academic performance by providing an interactive and engaging way to learn new concepts.
– Social media and entertainment apps can be distracting and reduce focus and productivity if used excessively.
– Gaming apps can be addictive and negatively impact academic performance if used excessively.
– Multitasking between different apps can reduce focus and productivity.
Overall, it is important to use apps in a balanced and controlled manner to reap their benefits without negatively impacting focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance.
A word about ADHD and apps
Yes, people with ADHD may interact differently with apps compared to those without ADHD. Some studies have shown that people with ADHD may struggle with distractions and may have difficulty staying focused on a task or activity for an extended period of time. As a result, they may require certain features or strategies to help them stay engaged with an app.
For example, apps that incorporate gamification elements, such as rewards and badges, may be more appealing to people with ADHD as they provide immediate feedback and a sense of accomplishment.
Additionally, apps that allow for customization and personalization may also be helpful for individuals with ADHD as they can tailor the app to their specific needs and preferences.
On the other hand, some apps may be less effective for people with ADHD if they are too complex or require a lot of multitasking. Apps that have a lot of notifications or alerts may also be overwhelming for individuals with ADHD.
Overall, while people with ADHD may interact differently with apps, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It is important to consider individual needs and preferences when selecting and using apps to help manage ADHD symptoms.
affecting your relationships
apps and self-esteem
Apps can have both positive and negative effects on self-esteem. Here are some ways in which apps can affect self-esteem:
- 1. Social media apps: Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can have a negative impact on self-esteem. These apps are full of pictures and posts that show people’s highlight reels, which can make others feel inadequate or insecure about their own lives.
- 2. Fitness apps: Fitness apps can have a positive impact on self-esteem. These apps can help people set and achieve fitness goals, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
- 3. Education apps: Education apps can have a positive impact on self-esteem. Learning new things and acquiring new skills can give people a sense of accomplishment and boost their self-esteem.
- 4. Gaming apps: Gaming apps can have both positive and negative effects on self-esteem. Winning a game can boost self-esteem, while losing can have the opposite effect.
Overall, the impact of apps on self-esteem depends on the individual and how they use the app. It is important to use apps in a way that promotes positive self-esteem and mental health.
apps addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, app addiction can lead to isolation and loneliness. When individuals become addicted to apps, they may spend excessive amounts of time using them, which can cause them to withdraw from social interactions with family and friends. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and even depression.
Additionally, apps that promote social media use can create a false sense of connection, leading individuals to spend more time online and less time engaging in face-to-face interactions. Over time, this can lead to a lack of meaningful relationships and a sense of disconnection from the world around them. It’s important to set boundaries and prioritize social interactions outside of technology to maintain a healthy balance.
Effects of apps on your relationship
Positive effects of apps on your relationship:
- 1. Improved communication: Apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facetime have made it easier for couples to stay in touch and communicate with each other. This has made it easier for couples in long-distance relationships to feel closer to each other.
- 2. Shared experiences: Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook allow couples to share their experiences with each other. This can help couples feel more connected and can give them a sense of shared experiences, even if they are physically apart.
- 3. Increased efficiency: Apps like Google Calendar and shared to-do lists can help couples manage their time more efficiently and ensure that they are on the same page when it comes to important events or tasks.
Negative effects of apps on your relationship:
- 1. Decreased face-to-face communication: While apps can improve communication in some ways, they can also lead to a decrease in face-to-face communication. This can make it harder for couples to connect emotionally and can lead to misunderstandings.
- 2. Addiction: Apps can be addictive, and if one partner spends too much time on their phone or computer, it can create tension in the relationship.
- 3. Miscommunication: Apps like email and text messaging can make it easier to misinterpret messages or tone, which can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in the relationship.
How To Stop & quit Your apps Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to apps and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for apps?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your apps addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the apps addiction
Here are some main steps to get rid of app addiction:
- 1. Identify your triggers: Take note of what triggers your app usage. Is it boredom, stress, or anxiety? Once you identify your triggers, you can work on finding alternative ways to deal with them.
- 2. Set boundaries: Set limits on how much time you spend on apps. You can use apps that help you monitor your usage and set reminders to take breaks.
- 3. Delete unnecessary apps: Remove any apps that you don’t need or that are causing you to waste too much time.
- 4. Find healthy alternatives: Find other activities or hobbies to replace your app usage. This can include exercising, reading, or spending time with friends and family.
- 5. Practice mindfulness: Try to be more mindful of your app usage. Take breaks and focus on the present moment rather than constantly checking your phone.
- 6. Seek support: Talk to friends or family members about your app addiction, or consider seeking professional help if needed.
Actually, that’s what most documentation out there is about… However, quitting a digital addiction can be a bit trickier than that.
So our team, after testing many ways, designed a bulletproof way to overcome them. Here are some clear and practical steps that are very powerful to quit a digital addiction, including apps:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of apps
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your apps accounts, change the password and hide it somewhere you can’t access easily, keep your phone / computer far away… Out of sight out of mind.
Here is a video from our course the The Digital Purge. on how to add resistance to your temptations, so you become so lazy to engage with them that you give them up: