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 screens addiction.
- What’s the screens addiction?
- Addiction to screens, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered screens addiction
- How much screens is too much?
- Some technology addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the screens addiction
- Why is screens so addictive?
- Possible causes of screens dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of screens addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of screens
- Some benefits of screens
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your screens addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the screens addiction
- Best screens blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with screens addiction
- Best books about technology addiction
- Research about technology addiction
What is the screens addiction?
A screensaver is a program that automatically starts when a computer is idle for a period of time. It typically displays a moving image or pattern.
Addiction to screens, 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 screens addiction?
Screen addiction is not listed in the DSM-5.
So what means “screens addiction”?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it is still being researched. However, screens addiction is generally understood to refer to a dependence on electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This addiction can lead to negative consequences, such as social isolation, sleep deprivation, and poor academic performance.
What is considered screens addiction?
There are a few key criterion that can help to diagnose whether someone is addicted to screens. These include:
- 1. Preoccupation with screens: A person who is addicted to screens will often be preoccupied with using them. They may think about using them all the time, and may even plan their day around when they can use them.
- 2. Loss of control: A person who is addicted to screens may feel like they cannot control their use. They may try to cut back or stop using them, but find that they cannot.
- 3. continued use despite negative consequences: A person who is addicted to screens may continue to use them even though it is causing problems in their life. For example, they may keep using them even though it is impacting their work, school, or relationships.
- 4. withdrawal symptoms: A person who is addicted to screens may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using them. These can include irritability, anxiety, and depression.
How much screens is too much?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some experts recommend limiting screen time to two hours or less per day, while others suggest that as long as it does not interfere with other activities, screen time can be unlimited.
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 screens addiction widespread?
Yes, there are a lot of people addicted to screens. With the increasing use of technology and the rise of social media, people are spending more time than ever before in front of screens. This can lead to a range of negative effects, including eye strain, poor sleep, social isolation, and addiction. In fact, studies have shown that excessive screen time can change the brain in ways that are similar to drug addiction. It’s important to be mindful of our screen use and practice healthy habits to prevent addiction and negative effects.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of screens addiction
Why is screens so addictive?
This is a difficult question to answer definitively because addiction is a complex phenomenon with many possible causes. However, some possible reasons why screens (e.g., smartphones, computers, TVs) might be addictive for some people include: (
- 1. the use of screens can provide a sense of immediate gratification or pleasure; (2. screens can be a means of escape from difficult or unpleasant thoughts or emotions; (3. screens can be a way to connect with others and feel more socially connected; and (4. some people might be genetically predisposed to addiction and/or might have underlying mental health conditions that make them more vulnerable to addiction.
Possible causes of screens dependency
There is no definitive answer to this question as the causes of screens addiction can vary from person to person. However, some possible causes could include a need for social interaction, escapism from real-world problems, or simply a desire to be constantly entertained.
Additionally, screens addiction can often be fuelled by anxiety or depression, as people may turn to screens as a way to avoid their negative feelings.
Signs & Symptoms of screens addiction
Now let’s see if you have the screens addiction problem.
- 1. You have a hard time going more than an hour without looking at a screen.
- 2. You find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media or other websites when you should be doing something else.
- 3. You often have more than one screen open at a time and find it difficult to focus on just one thing.
- 4. You often feel restless or anxious when you’re away from your screens.
- 5. You spend a lot of time talking or thinking about screens and what you’re going to do with them next.
- 6. You often neglect your real-world responsibilities in favor of time spent on your screens.
- 7. You feel like you can’t live without your screens.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of screens: should you quit?
What are some benefits of screens
There are many advantages to using screens, including the following:
- 1. Screens can help you save time and energy by allowing you to quickly and easily find the information or content you are looking for.
- 2. Screens can help you stay organized by allowing you to keep track of your various tasks and projects.
- 3. Screens can help you be more productive by providing you with a clear and concise way to view and interact with information and content.
- 4. Screens can help you stay connected and informed by providing you with instant access to a wealth of information and content.
- 5. Screens can help you save money by allowing you to avoid printing costs.
But at the opposite, what can be some screens addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
There is evidence that screens can have a negative effect on your health. For example, too much screen time can lead to:
– type 2 diabetes
– high blood pressure
– high cholesterol
– heart disease
– some types of cancer
– sleep problems
screens and sleep disorder
Yes, excessive use of screens can contribute to sleep disorders or sleep problems. The blue light emitted by screens can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Additionally, the stimulation from screens can make it difficult to wind down and relax before bedtime, leading to insomnia or other sleep disturbances. It is recommended to limit screen time before bed and use features such as night mode or blue light filters to reduce the impact on sleep.
screens affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of screens on your brain
- 1. Screens can overstimulate the brain, causing restlessness and difficulty concentrating.
- 2. Screens can cause eye strain and headaches.
- 3. Prolonged screen time can lead to neck and back pain.
- 4. Screens can disrupt your sleep cycle, causing fatigue and irritability.
- 5. Excessive screen time has been linked to anxiety and depression.
Some effects of screens on your mental health
- 1. Screens can cause anxiety and depression.
- 2. Screens can cause insomnia and disrupt your sleep cycle.
- 3. Screens can cause you to lose touch with reality and become isolated.
- 4. Screens can cause you to become addicted and obsessed with social media and other online content.
- 5. Screens can cause you to develop negative body image issues.
Does screens cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, excessive screen time can cause stress and anxiety. Prolonged use of screens can lead to eye strain, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns, which can increase stress levels.
Additionally, social media and news apps can expose individuals to negative news and information, leading to anxiety and worry. It is important to take breaks from screens and engage in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
Can screens addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, excessive screen time and technology use can contribute to feelings of sadness and depression. Research has shown that prolonged use of screens can disrupt sleep patterns, negatively impact mood, and increase the risk of anxiety and depression.
Additionally, excessive screen time can lead to social isolation and a lack of physical activity, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and sadness. It is important to practice moderation and balance when it comes to screen use to maintain good mental health.
Dopamine and screens
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in the brain’s reward system. It is associated with feelings of pleasure and motivation, and is released in response to various stimuli, including food, social interaction, and even screens.
When we use screens, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, our brains are stimulated by the content we are consuming, whether it’s scrolling through social media, watching videos, or playing games. This stimulation can trigger the release of dopamine, which can create a sense of pleasure and reward.
However, research has found that excessive screen time can lead to dysregulated dopamine levels, which can have negative effects on mental health and well-being. Studies have linked excessive screen time to addiction, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
It’s important to strike a balance between screen time and other activities, such as exercise, social interaction, and hobbies. Setting limits on screen time and taking breaks from screens can help regulate dopamine levels and promote overall mental health.
screens effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, screens can affect focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance in various ways.
- 1. Distraction: Screens can be a source of distraction, especially when notifications pop up, or when one switches between different applications or tabs. This can interfere with one’s ability to focus and complete tasks efficiently.
- 2. Reduced attention span: Studies have shown that prolonged use of screens can reduce attention span, particularly in children and adolescents.
- 3. Sleep disruption: Exposure to screens, particularly at night, can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and reduced productivity the following day.
- 4. Eye strain: Prolonged screen use can cause eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision, which can affect academic performance.
- 5. Reduced physical activity: Screens can also lead to reduced physical activity, which can have negative effects on overall health and well-being, potentially impacting academic performance.
Overall, while screens have many benefits, it is important to be aware of their potential negative effects and to use them in moderation, particularly when engaging in academic work.
A word about ADHD and screens
Yes, people with ADHD may interact with screens differently than those without ADHD. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects attention, impulse control, and executive function. People with ADHD may have difficulty focusing and staying engaged with tasks, which can make it challenging to interact with screens for extended periods.
Some common ways that people with ADHD may interact with screens differently include:
- 1. Distraction: People with ADHD may be more easily distracted by the many stimuli on screens, such as notifications, pop-ups, and ads. This can make it challenging to focus on tasks and can lead to frequent task-switching.
- 2. Hyperfocus: On the other hand, some people with ADHD may experience hyperfocus when using screens. This means they become completely absorbed in the screen activity to the point of losing track of time and neglecting other responsibilities.
- 3. Impulsivity: People with ADHD may be more impulsive in their screen use, such as clicking on links without thinking or making impulsive purchases online.
- 4. Screen addiction: People with ADHD may be more susceptible to developing screen addiction, which is characterized by excessive and compulsive use of screens that interferes with daily life.
Overall, people with ADHD may have a more challenging time regulating their screen use and may benefit from strategies such as setting limits, taking breaks, and using tools to minimize distractions.
affecting your relationships
screens and self-esteem
Screens can have both positive and negative effects on self-esteem, depending on how they are used. Here are some ways screens can affect self-esteem:
- 1. Social comparison: Social media and other screens can create a culture of comparison where users constantly compare themselves to others. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem as users measure themselves against an idealized version of others.
- 2. Cyberbullying: Screens can be a platform for cyberbullying and online harassment, which can lead to negative feelings about oneself and lower self-esteem.
- 3. Validation seeking: Screens can be a place where people seek validation and approval from others. This can lead to an unhealthy dependence on external validation and a decreased sense of self-worth.
- 4. Positive reinforcement: Screens can also provide positive reinforcement and validation, such as likes and comments on social media posts. This can boost self-esteem and confidence.
- 5. Time spent: Spending too much time on screens can lead to a lack of physical activity, social interaction, and other important aspects of life. This can negatively impact self-esteem and well-being.
Overall, screens can have a significant impact on self-esteem, and it is important to use them in moderation and with awareness of their potential effects.
screens addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, excessive screen time and addiction to screens can lead to isolation and loneliness. When people spend a lot of time on screens, they may neglect social interactions with friends and family, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Additionally, social media and other online platforms can create a false sense of social connection, which can further exacerbate loneliness and feelings of isolation in the long run. Studies have shown that excessive screen time can also impact mental health, including increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to find a healthy balance between screen time and social interaction to maintain overall well-being.
Effects of screens on your relationship
- 1. Improved communication: Screens provide a convenient way for couples to communicate with each other through messaging, video calls, and social media.
- 2. Increased bonding: Sharing experiences and interests through screens can strengthen the bond between partners, especially when they are physically apart.
- 3. Shared entertainment: Watching movies, playing games or binge-watching a TV series together can be a fun and engaging activity for couples.
- 4. Easy access to information: Screens allow couples to quickly access information and resources that could be helpful in their relationship, such as relationship advice or counseling.
- 1. Distracted attention: Overuse of screens can lead to distraction and lack of attention during important moments, such as during a conversation or a date.
- 2. Social media jealousy: Seeing your partner interact with others on social media can lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity.
- 3. Addiction: Excessive screen time can lead to addiction, which can negatively impact the couple’s relationship and quality of life.
- 4. Disconnection: Over-reliance on screens can lead to a lack of face-to-face interaction, which can lead to a sense of disconnection and distance between partners.
How To Stop & quit Your screens Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to screens and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for screens?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your screens addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the screens addiction
- 1. Understand why you’re addicted to screens in the first place. This can be anything from social media to video games.
- 2. Set limits for yourself. This can mean setting a certain amount of time you’re allowed to spend on your phone or only using your computer for certain tasks.
- 3. Find other things to do. This can involve picking up a new hobby or planning activities that don’t involve screens.
- 4. Seek help if necessary. If you can’t seem to break your addiction on your own, there are professionals who can help you.
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 screens:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of screens
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your screens 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: