Would you dare take this smartphone addiction test?
It's deathly silence, totally unfamiliar and in the first moments caused a sense of panic and a chill down the spine.
A few deep breaths and given a chance to get a grip of myself, a new sense of calm descended and eventually some real perspective.
This week’s anxiety had nothing to do with a sense of unease with those dark nights setting in and the spooky goings-on of Halloween.
I was informed October’s Full Moon could have played some part in losing my cool – us Capricorns were particularly vulnerable apparently.
It was the arrival of a text message from my service provider, which had prompted that panic moment, the data usage on the monthly plan was at its limit and there would be no more 4G service for 10 days.
Gripped in fear of the mass pile of WhatsApp messages in the inbox outside of a WiFi zone, I debated paying an extra cost for a bundle to plug the gap.
I came to the perfectly logical and sound decision it was possible to live life morning to evening without the ever presence of a smartphone.
In fact I’d go as far to say a happier one.
I just can’t remember the last time I did it – and that is the problem.
It’s always there.
Until this moment, I’d been living in complete denial when it comes to a dependence, dare I say obsession to respond instantly to every vibration, bleep or tone.
Have you ever left the house and then had that uncomfortable feeling you might have left your phone behind? Guilty.
Friday morning having woken at 4.30am, restless and with a sudden urge to spring clean, I set about the tasks only to find within half an hour of getting out the hoover I was actually scrolling through Twitter.
So while putting up my hands to a long list of bad smartphone habits, I may as well also admit to being guilty of exceptional double standards too.
While the children love to indulge in random KidsTube videos, I am quite strict when it comes to their screen time, yet display zero self-discipline when it comes to playing through Instagram stories, ‘awakened’ once or twice with the kids telling me to put down the phone.
It’s not an excuse but I know I’m not alone.
Various studies have shown that the average person can spend two hours and more a day on their smartphone.
Completing different technology addiction tests online, while my score didn’t quite reach addiction levels, they all returned worrying responses of ‘problematic or compulsive use’.
This reality check shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did.
The scary thing I wasn’t quite sure where to begin in breaking the habit.
It said it all when the first idea I had was to source an App to help and, yes, they are out there
Mute, Moment, and Space all offer services to help with a digital detox and a more healthy phone life balance.
It’s another four days until the data plan reboots but the call to unplug begins right now.
Notifications are out, the phone is to be banished from the bedroom and an actual alarm clock reinstalled.
I’m feeling better already.
Take the smart phone compulsion test: https://virtual-addiction.com/smartphone-compulsion-test