When someone hears the word drugs, he or she will probably immediately think about stuff like heroin, cocaine, weed, crystal meth. Additionally they will have a negative image attached to this word. For example a news report of drug dealing or addiction. However besides these illicit drugs, there are also objects or substances of addiction, which are socially accepted, like alcohol or cigaretts. Although they are still a problem in our society, this article won’t bother with their consequences, but bring matter to another type of drug, an unconscious and very popular one: The Smarthphone.
Nowdays almost everybody has a smartphone and uses it in his everyday life. Many people use it even for a couple of hours every day. Social media and streaming services, like Netflix or Amazon Prime have probably the most usage. Scrolling through the instagram feed, watching snapchat stories or some videos on YouTube, it is all very entertaining, however can become addictive pretty fast. Soon you grab your phone at every given occasion to look if you got a new message, another blurred snap of a friend, or simply to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, etc. to let the time fly by. Many people, after they come home from work, sit in front of the TV and watch TV Series or Netflix for some hours until they go to bed. However is this really a good way to spend your time? According to a statistic of Statista.com there were around 80 million active Netflix subscriptions worldwide in 2018 and the trend is growing. The competing service of Amazon (Amazon Prime Video) is expected to have over 60 million active subscribers until 2020.
In a recent interview, entrepreneur and influencer Gary Vaynerchuk, mostly known as Gary Vee said, that social media and streaming services are the most dangerous drugs of our modern society. Then why are we still doing this? Especially young people seem obsessed with there phones: “Wait, I have to take a picture for my story first!” or “Where is my phone?!” are common phrases. Sometimes, and I think probably anyone can relate to this, after watching something on phone or the TV, we don‘t even notice how the hours passed by. It’s like we’re moving to another world, that lets us forget about our problems and concerns. If you are doing something you don’t like, for example going to school or your boring job, the urge to distract yourself form this situation, for example by watching TV is very strong. This can lead to addiction soon and the time spent in front of these divices increases, instead of doing something practical, like working out, reading and learning new skills.
How can you stop these bad habits? It may seem pretty hard at first to get rid of them, but it’s possible. The key to make a change is to fill the time with something that’s worth working for and ideally enjoyable. For example start your own online business, go to the gym or learn a new language. There is a large amount of possibilities you can choose from. The book FLOW by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi deals with the experience of flow, a situation, where all the work seems easy and fulfilling. Developing a passion for a new activity is far more regarding than watching TV or scrolling through a distorted reality of social media, which makes you feel unhappy. So start changing now!