58: Smart Phone and Internet Addiction (Sort Of)

11/22/20 On this episode we explore the world of smart phone and internet addiction. What is it? What are some of the signs that you may be suffering from it? Why are smart phones so addictive? What are some things you can do to minimize the disturbance that smart phones cause in your life?

To take the smart phone addiction quiz for yourself: https://www.amexessentials.com/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

hi it’s recovery sort of i’m billy i’m a person in long term recovery i’m jason i am also a guy in long term recovery and this week we are going to talk about cell phone addiction cell phone addiction yeah it’s a fun thing we see at least i see a lot i observe a lot of these behaviors in my kids definitely my wife i see it in myself at times and try to actively watch what i’m doing so we want to talk a little bit about that get your feelings and opinions on it i mean i did very minimal research for this i was counting on you to do it all but i did see that there’s some argument about whether cell phone addiction technology addiction internet addiction whatever you want to call it social media addiction like there’s a whole lot of different variations of this same similar concept and there’s some disagreement about whether it’s really a classifiable or diagnosable thing or not so it’ll be interesting for us to get into that and maybe we’ll even discuss whether we think it is or not before we do any of that i did want to acknowledge stephanie reached out to us one of her good friends and she wanted me to thank you for your association of the higher power and the wind you had an analogy about that she really appreciated that analogy it helped her and her recovery to understand a little better is that from step 11 maybe yeah step 11. i just wanted to pass that along to you sarah had reached out to us a friend of ours and she really loved the aces episode just been hearing a lot of good feedback about quality stuff autumn as well uh reached out to us and gave us a nice compliment and so it’s just great i i think when people reach out i feel a little more useful and not just like i’m talking into space sometimes even though this is i would do this if nobody listened probably just because it’s fun to talk to you yeah i enjoy it as well also i’d like to give a shout out to my other friend jason who i ran into and he mentioned he had been using the podcast during i guess a lot of the kovid pandemic things he had been listening to podcast pretty regularly and and got a lot out of it sweet and and one other weird thing so i happened to like get stuck on youtube the other day i don’t even know what i was trying to figure out but there was like all these analytics and i don’t even understand that’s because they want you addicted they keep you engaged so you don’t even know what you’re watching well i wasn’t watching anything i was looking at the back end of our youtube at the analytics and like i said i don’t understand most of that [ __ ] it’s so far beyond me there’s all these different things and people who click at the end and what counts mean and blah blah so anyway one of the things i found funny was that like one of our main clicked or searchable terms to the best i could understand it said that like terms people searched that led them to us was spanking

what have we ever talked about that i don’t know i guess my wooden belt maybe i i’m like what the [ __ ] is how’s i don’t and the first thing i went when i think of spanking i don’t even think of spanking kids anymore like it’s definitely perverted yeah that’s i went right to sexual yeah it’s like some bdsm or but anyway i bet people are not finding what they’re looking for when they stumble across us that is not what we do here no there are no videos of me spanking billy that has not happened oh so anyway back to cell phone addiction some terms that i came across that i had never heard of i guess their new age newer terms as a result of technology things one of them was nomophobia nomophobia can you guess what you think that is nomaphobia the fear of no more fear of going without your phone so that is now a phobia it should be nomophonophobia right no phonophobiophobia no phonophobia texaferenia i didn’t even know how to say i should have practiced something hexaferrania ferenia textiferenia is that like frenetic texting like uncontrollable texting urges or something the fear that you can’t send or receive texts oh that’s a fear text of ferenia i’m scared that yeah i don’t like when i’m without service and this is the thing i think i’ve experienced phantom vibrations oh yeah that doesn’t need any explanation i don’t know what that is pull my phone out i could have sworn somebody text me i will have my phone in my hand and feel it vibrate in my pocket and i’m like what the [ __ ] and i check it of course i’m like oh there’s nothing there it’s in my hand so and i always leave my phone ringer off i never turn the ringer on it is 100 of the time on vibrate so i find the ringer offensive and annoying so mine never makes a noise i mean other than the vibration noise i did that for a time and now i’ve reverted back i i have the ringer on but it doesn’t ring very much i’m not gonna lie there’s not many rings on my phone and all the text message and notification sounds are turned off except for like one important person in my life and i’m like yeah i want their text messages to make noise but everybody else i’ll see it when i see it yeah so in my everyday job i do dispatching and stuff communications with the employees at work so my phone is either texts or calls all day right and so it just gets annoying as [ __ ] with all these different noises going off oh my gosh it just vibrates i mean it’s usually sitting close enough to me that i hear it or notice it so i have yet to have anybody text me with an offer for like a million dollar deal and i missed it because the sound was off so i’m just gonna stick with nobody’s doing that for me you know getting back to the sort of addiction point of most of this really what interested me in this is the concept of is this really an addiction and then how dangerous is it for people is it something i need to worry about because like say some of these things when you when you read or hear about it i’m like oh i definitely fall into that category you know i was looking at some of these they have a bunch of quizzes and things you can take to see if you’re addicted to your technology or if you’re mickey mouse and more or less what it came to for me was it’s like most substances or or things that people get addicted to there are plenty of people that can use it healthy that that aren’t addicted to these things and then there’s the vulnerable people that tend to get sucked in or tend to get caught up and then there are levels to all of it you know well now you’re hurting my feelings because i generally judge the vulnerable people but i feel vulnerable with this one i feel like you qualify to some degree i might i might i do pull my phone out a lot and then i’ll i’ll run out of things that i generally look at like i have my my normals you know my go-to’s and then when i run out of them i’ll set my phone down and i’m like oh well i’ll just sit here for a couple minutes without looking at it then since all my stuff’s you know i’ve read all the news and everything’s all up to date and then within like 10 seconds i’m reaching for it and i’m like oh my god so everything that i read which was not very much but anyway the little bit that i read basically said that the argument about it being an addiction in the professional community isn’t really about whether it has the addictive properties they all agree on that it has addictive properties and people do interact with their phones or the internet in addictive ways the argument was that it’s not producing the same disquality of life as these other addictions and therefore they don’t want to diagnose it that was more the the thing it wasn’t like anybody was arguing no no this isn’t addictive at all or it doesn’t harm your life it’s just that it’s not harming your life the way a drug addiction a porn addiction a gambling addiction anything along those lines really produces some negative consequences for you and phone addiction generally you just don’t have many friends and you sit at your house sort of so the argument i would have to that is you know they talk about teen suicides and teen deaths and the suicide rate in young teenage girls the preteen rate is up something like 125 in the last 10 years and in teenage girls it’s up like a hundred percent and they attribute a lot of that to social media all the filters all the fake instagram life and those sorts of things that are driving young people especially vulnerable young women to commit suicide so according to an article on npr teens that spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide so that would agree with your statement yeah and i you know recently watched a documentary on netflix i tend to watch a ton of documentaries anybody that knows me that’s i don’t like fantasy shows or fake shows too much i spend my day watching boring documentaries but there’s actually a really interesting one it’s on netflix now called the social dilemma it goes into some of that and some of the other issues with social media over time so i’ve kind of followed technology and i’ve always tried to pay attention to the dangers in technology as it’s developed and i’m not a conspiracy person i love technology i participate in all of it but we’ve been watching it you know at least if you’re observing some of these things you’ve watched a pattern through like video games and some of the social media and different applications of these online games now you get all the online games on your phone and how their design is different than even video games back when i was a kid so when in the 80s and 90s when video games first got to be popular in your home like you would buy a game it had a start it had an end there was like a mission that you had to go through when you completed the game was over you know and occasionally you’d find there was some you know whatever they call like the easter eggs or the hidden things that you could go back and try to do right but in general you bought a game you finished it and it was over you were done with that game that’s not how games are anymore nowadays games are meant to keep you engaged indefinitely you know and the game designers will come out with if it’s a a war game or one of these first-person shooters you know they’ll come out with a new gun or a new skin for a gun or something that you can buy if you earn enough points or of course spend enough money you can always spend money to to buy new camouflage armor the newer you know this or that thing so not only are these games designed to keep you engaged but they want you to spend money there’s some sort of status symbol involved in a lot of it with how high ranking you are how many points you get what kind of gear you have and there’s all these new levels of engagement you know so they’re hitting so many more buttons than just the entertainment button something still feels different even beyond that but definitely when i was growing up we had mario and and we would play this mario game and you know you would make it through four worlds out of the eight but you only got so many lives and when you died there was no save and so when you died you had spent an hour and a half two hours on it you made it through four worlds and then you died in the games over and you had to start over from scratch if you wanted to start over again and i’m like i’ve done enough of that that was two hours of my life let’s go outside for a while and now you know i play a game with my kids sometimes called rocket league and it’s five minute matches against other people online there is no finish right i mean it’s just a five-minute match over and over and over again and there’s no end right there’s no like when the five-minute match is over you either won or you lost you feel good or you feel bad and then you want to do it again and it’s like holy [ __ ] but even beyond that there still feels to be some kind of different level like back then video games felt fun but outside felt fun too and now it’s like video games feel fun but going outside sounds terrible i don’t know what happened i definitely just looking through the first few articles there’s a large correlation right which could be the fact that we’re changing as a society and these two things just happen to go together you know there’s more cell phone use and there’s also more depression and suicide but basically there’s a large correlation between the fact that as cell phones become more prevalent in people’s lives and more used throughout their day there’s a higher risk of depression and suicide and teenagers like that just seems to be the basis of it i’m not gonna bore you with stats you can easily look them up they’re everywhere yeah and the thing we see is reducing cell phone use or reducing social media use is that really a huge thing to give up if the risk is that your teens might commit suicide like you know even if there’s no definitive you know 100 percent proof because the technology has evolved way faster than the science the research going into it i mean people don’t categorize it as this but the artificial intelligence machine that’s at work behind a lot of these systems we typically call them algorithms but it’s artificial intelligence like it looks for certain behaviors it learns certain things about you and your likes or dislikes or engagements and then specifically targets or gears itself to hit those engagements you know so if you’re a young girl who’s struggling with her looks and posting lots of selfies with filters and all that [ __ ] it’s going to find ways that will engage that person you know to to keep that system going to keep them posting more pictures selfies and that’s what these things like the like button and how many followers you have like those sorts of things are geared towards keeping you engaged by hitting dopamine receptors that make you feel good about yourself right and i’m sure there probably are at this point studies of people who they’ve convinced to step back from technology or give up you know their cell phones or social media for a little while and they probably have had a decrease in depression or a decrease in anxiety so i wouldn’t doubt those studies probably already exist on a small scale at least so like you’re saying i don’t think it’s a terrible thing you know relating to my 15 year old daughters i hear them at times and i don’t hear every conversation they have but i hear them talk about their amount of likes or the amount of followers on tick tock or the amount of this or that and everything we’ve talked about for this upcoming christmas already that gifts they want all surround themselves with a status right whether it’s an expensive iphone so that the people they don’t know can have them as blue messages or whatever it is right or whether it’s they want new bed frames not because they don’t like their bed frames because they want matching bed frames for their room so that they can look better in their videos that they post online and i’m like man what a nicer time it was when i didn’t give a [ __ ] what my room looked like because nobody ever saw it that’s crazy to me the whole thing for me is like wow right just all this stuff that you want is really geared around what you want to show other people and i guess to some extent we all do that but really the question behind all that how do we step back and when it’s so easy not to like i’ve done that at points in time in my life i’ve used the tools on the phone that tell me i’ve been on it too much when i set it for an amount of time and i say i just want to make a concerted effort to be on my phone less and that lasts for a time it’s like a diet right like it’s lasted for a time and then it’s like but it’s fun and i’m not bored and how do we step back i get what you’re saying why wouldn’t we want to step back but how this episode has been brought to you by voices of hope inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in maryland voices of hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at w www.voicesofhopecilmd.org and consider donating to our calls yes so there are a few practices you can do that they say will definitely help with that we were chatting about a few before we started so one of the things i do is i turn off all notifications on every app on my phone except for text messaging and my calendar apps and that’s because i have reminders of certain things where i need to be or calendar appointments and then i keep in contact with my wife kids or people through text message but as far as any sort of other apps games social media stuff all notifications are turned off you can remove time-consuming apps from your phone if there’s certain things you know you’re addicted to or you know that are eating up a lot of your time stop doing them so i was going crazy with the candy crush at one point in my life and then i set a time limit on it with the google well-being or whatever the hell it was and it was an hour a day and after an hour a day i could have the choice to turn it off it would notify me or it would just turn off even though i could go back and turn it back on but i didn’t i stuck to it and then at some point i just stopped playing i was like i’m done with this it’s a time waster blah blah i mean i didn’t play for like a year and a half and now i don’t know if it’s the pandemic or the election stress or whatever the hell i’m back on it i’m like this is better than scrolling facebook whatever i’ll just be on here instead yeah and for me slowly i’ve gotten away from a lot of the social media facebook in particular i just had the app on my phone and all that i took the app off my phone i said well i’ll only look at it when i’m on the computer or occasionally when you know i can pull it up on my phone i just don’t have the app so right which they make you feel bad about that [ __ ] too i don’t know if you do it right through a web browser on your phone like they constantly want to tell you like your experience in the app will be better and they’re giving you all these subtle hints that they want to put the [ __ ] app on your phone so i refuse and now i just stay off of it all together mostly because like you’re saying with the time limits i’m like oh i’ll get on and scroll through why i’m bored or whatever and then i realize like i’m sucked into some argument or i’m sucked into some [ __ ] i’m reading that’s made me angry and um what i was really just killing time waiting for a flight or something now all of a sudden i’m mad after three days i’m waiting for a flight i’m not that fancy i’m like waiting for my kids to get done a soccer game or something i was thinking trying to think of a random thing that you’re gonna be waiting around for but yeah if i’m sitting around waiting for the kids or some school event kind of bored it’s like oh let me scroll through before i know it i’m like totally unengaged with whatever’s in front of me and i’m actively engaged with whatever argument i’m in on facebook so i think this totally proves my point that we constantly go back and forth about that all people are sick because i think we all are susceptible to cell phone or internet or technology addiction i mean we might be more susceptible as as addicts or alcoholic but i think everybody’s susceptible to this and so maybe our degree of ailment or sickness is a little greater but i think this is all the proof i need to say definitively all people are sick yeah well everyone has degrees of unhealthiness in some form or another i’m going to run through a couple of these the things we can do to avoid it and then we can get into who is most susceptible because i have that as well so some of the things you can do keep your phone out of sight i know i’m a person that keeps my phone with me all the time 100 of the time it is always within arm’s reach i literally have it in my hand as billy’s talking develop hobbies that feed your soul replace the games and social media apps with hands-on real world activities whoa it’s like you said that [ __ ] sounds boring

my phone games are so much more exciting than whatever’s going on out in the yard they’re definitely easier right it’s so much easier to sit around and play a game than it is to pick up the ball and go in the yard with a dog oh my god that’s a lot of work you gotta walk set your phone screen to grayscale ew you’re right i need full hd experience is that a thing with 4 000 colors i can’t can i even do that can i do that can you set it to grayscale i’m sure that there are ways to do it but these are things like if you really want to deter yourself from using these apps i mean how addicted to your phone were you when you had a [ __ ] flip phone that you had to like hit that two button three times to get a c you know oh bro t9 use predictive text i was yeah i was still hooked were you dude if you could send me pictures of boobies on it i’m gonna be hooked to it oh my god okay so i have it so here’s facebook and grayscale that is ugly right i might turn my phone off if it looked like that that’s [ __ ] terrible

technology in and of itself isn’t bad or good it’s like looking at any other addictive thing i mean i don’t know heroin is pretty bad yeah everyone’s bad that’s a whole nother podcast topic i’d like to talk about should we just legalize drugs yes you know it’s like alcohol like is alcohol good or bad you know yes i mean obviously there’s dangers and there are things but people like it and some people use it in a healthy way i’ll say i don’t know maybe big alcohol has got me convinced but in any case not everyone that uses alcohol is a severe alcoholic that’s going to damage their whole life and destroy their family some people can do it in a way that’s fun or healthy yes so technology’s the same like it’s got some great things about it it’s incredibly useful yes social media can connect you with old friends or keep you in touch with people it’s just there’s certain points or certain parts of it that suck us in and how far down we get into that addiction and i use the word addiction loosely here i’m not trying to compare it to people that suffer other types of addictions although i think when you say that teens are killing themselves at this exceptionally high rate it’s worth at least looking at the dangers that it presents to them yeah i mean obviously if you’re listening to our wonderfully joyous informative podcast you’re using technology healthily and if you’re doing anything else it’s bad don’t do it was there any other suggestions beyond the grayscale to help the only other thing they said and i don’t know you know how this relates specifically to interacting with your technology but it says adopt a growth mindset brief relapses adjustments and withdrawal symptoms are part of a journey towards a healthier phone use so i guess i would call that more self-honesty we just need to be honest with ourselves like yeah i think i’m spending a little bit too much time on my phone or i think i’m spending a little more time on my phone than i really want to maybe it’s okay that i dial this back a little bit i’m on my phone too much i will be honest about that but i have yet to see these terrible life altering consequences that would make me want to do something different i mean that’s not completely true i do already kind of want to do something different i’m not to the point where i’m completely out of touch with my family or where i can’t put it down and have family dinner or interactions or watch a show with them but i am at a point where i’m like this other thing sounds more interesting than watching a show with them right but well we see things like say we’ve talked about the teen suicide rates being up but also texting and driving or interacting with your phone and driving you know and the risk that that is i think one of the things i read said we know and it sounded awful low i imagine it’d have to be higher but it says there’s nine fatalities a day related to texting and driving alone that’s not any other phone use that’s specifically to texting and driving and that’s fatalities that doesn’t include accidents tick tocks yeah facebook no and that’s a huge concern because that was a struggle for me i’ve done some texting and driving in my past and seen the close calls i’ve had doing it and i’m terrified by it and i worry about that with my daughters being drivers in the near near future like how can you stay off and know that it’s just not that important until you get there right and as an adult it’s hard enough you know when we know the risks and dangers of life and driving and all that imagine teens where this is their connection to their whole social world yeah you know this is how they connect with all their friends and everything feels so important when you’re 16 17 18 years old i need to buy some kind of program that turns their [ __ ] phone off except navigation while they’re in the car so you know those are two sort of more i would say extreme risks that are posed by this addiction uh there’s a few other minor ones that they list which again for each person you have to decide you know is that really something i care about or not some of the signs that you might have a problem with your technology would be if you reach for your phone the moment you’re bored or alone nope i think i already admitted to that one you wake up multiple times at night to check your phone i don’t do that i don’t wake up to check my phone but when i wake up 2p i do take my phone and check it oh i don’t do that i’m sicker than you you feel anxious upset or short-tempered when you can’t get to your phone no because if i leave my house for like half an hour and i’m already gone and i realize i forgot my phone there’s one of two options i’m either going back to get it or i’m just deciding [ __ ] it i don’t care until i get back cause i will go through that if i like stay in that spot i’ll just make that call it’s like look i’m either going back to get it or i just don’t care yeah now when you get back though do you immediately go check it like oh [ __ ] i’ve been without my phone for like an hour i better go check to see what’s going on i try to so one of the things i noticed like when we were going to in-person meetings and i’ll turn my phone on complete silence and put it in my pocket and not pull it out for the meeting because i do believe it’s a huge distraction for me and people around me and i try to set the right example and then i’ll walk out of the meeting and if i end up in like a good conversation with somebody like happens frequently after meetings i’ll have the hour of the meeting the hour and a half of conversation with somebody and then i’m finally getting in my car to like go home and i’m like oh [ __ ] i forgot to check my phone i’ve gone through that like extended period but it’s because i’m engaged like you said i’m active i’m doing something in person and i don’t even think about the phone right so see that’s a case where the technology is what’s actually keeping you engaged if you can turn that [ __ ] off all notifications and turn it to silent it’s way easier to not get sucked in i mean if i’m doing something that i think is important and i try to stay engaged in and it’s a way in my pocket and i’m not looking at it it’s fine the problem is that because of the pandemic and the way my life is set up i’m generally just sitting in my [ __ ] house with it in my hand or next to me so there’s i don’t have any reason to put it away i’m not doing anything that important that it’s going to interrupt it right i’m writing a school paper or i’m helping my son with school where there’s lots of down time or i can easily distract myself and not feel bad about it because i’m still getting what i need to get done done that’s some of the balance between healthy use and and where it becomes really dangerous some of the other things the results they talk about phone use interferes with your job performance school work or relationships well it interferes with my schoolwork but i still get it done uh you’re spending more time using your phone than planned uh yeah daily your phone use has caused you to have an accident or injury no not that i know of you know again if you answer yes to all of these chances are you have like a phone addiction right maybe if you answer yes to a couple then you’re not quite at the attic phase you’re at the possible dangerous use you know or at risk and then you know what would happen if you found some next new game or thing that sucked you in that become the addiction yeah the other thing to think about and this is where i believe young people and teens come in is people that are at risk i tend to think at least for myself or maybe even for you that yes i have done a few things that i consider phone addictive behavior stuff like one of them for me that i hate and i still do it and i’m aware of it and it bugs the [ __ ] out of me is that we’ll be in a conversation someone will text me my phone will buzz in my pocket and i’ll just pull it out and start looking at it like right in the middle of a conversation with someone and it’s [ __ ] rude as [ __ ] like i feel like an [ __ ] when i do it but it’s so almost instinctual you know like i’ve been working on that recently more like trying to to figure out how to how to handle that situation because it feels like almost like you like i don’t get a ton of phone calls or a ton of text when i’m not at work i mean at work it’s different but you know when i’m not at work so it seems like oh if someone’s texting me this must be important or it’s my wife i have to reply right away you know so for my wife that is the only message on my phone and i actually i mean to change this because i want my kids to be this way too but that’s like the only one that makes a noise all the rest of them just come through silently but her texts actually come through with a noise and it’s not really because i feel the need to respond to her right away it’s because i just to me that’s like a sign of importance and and she might have some important valuable information that i need in a timely manner and everything else is kind of like it’ll wait till i get to it but yeah i i’ve pulled my phone out doing things before and i i don’t like that either i definitely don’t like when people do it to me they seem very disengaged and i try to be 100 present when i’m with people to the best of my ability yeah it’s like rude as [ __ ] like if we’re in the middle of a conversation and we’re talking and then i just turn around and walk away right in midfield

that feels so rude again this technology is all new for our society i mean what we’re talking 10 years now we’ve had like smartphones with text and all that’s become like a daily thing right and i think it’s really interesting too because we’re looking at this from the perspective of two guys who’ve done some spiritual work on trying to combat an addictive behavior already and we’ve seen how this drug addiction manifested you know the addiction part manifested in all these other ways in our lives and so we’ve already kind of done a lot of work to try to combat that and here we are still struggling with some of these cell phone addictions right this smartphone problem and how we might overuse it and then i look at the fear i have for my kids who that’s all they’ve known they grew up with this like we didn’t even grow up with it i didn’t have a [ __ ] phone i got a pager when i was in high school or something right but even then like that was very minimally used but these people are growing up with their brains wired around this concept of having the phone on you all day all the time and so how much more susceptible or in danger or at risk are they going to be as opposed to people like you and me who didn’t grow up with this it’s just been a new technology added and yet still has infiltrated our lives to this extent yeah and for kids i think it’s even more scary or dangerous because all of their friends do it you know like it’s not it’s very very rare that kids aren’t engaged in some form of social media or phone interaction on a regular basis so that’s what their whole peer network is doing and things matter you know your social media presence and who you’re posting pictures with and and those sorts of things matter to your social acceptability i hear about it all the time because my kids have daily technology limits like time limits to the best of my ability to set them i’m sure they have some workarounds here and there i’ve found some and shut them down but they have that and i hear all the time how none of their friends have that and they’re embarrassed for their friends to know that they have time limits and all this stuff and i’m like this is the best i can do and and the limits i’ve put on them are still above what people recommend is the right amount of time for people you know the healthy amount of time it’s like still above that but i’m like there at least needs to be some kind of time where you get bored and want to go outside or want to play a game or want to talk to somebody in your family like there’s got to be some boredom yeah and boredom is actually a healthy thing so my kids we’ve briefly talked about on here go to an alternative school and part of their school is they aren’t really forced to engage with any learning at all like if they don’t want to participate in classes in a day or they don’t want to participate in a discussion they don’t have to they can go outside and so the school has put some limits on technology because that was creating a new barrier right but they basically counted on the boredom of the kids to actually get them engaged in learning because if you’re bored you’ll seek out things that are interesting the idea behind the school is that yeah the kids will all come they’ll go through a phase where oh what i’m not forced to learn anything well [ __ ] i’m not learning anything and then they do that for a little while and go wow just sitting around wasting time doing nothing is kind of boring maybe learning is kind of interesting when i’m not forced to do it because not everybody wants to learn math at ten o’clock on tuesday morning every day some kids want to do something else on it’s a beautiful day outside i want to go outside back to your point is that boredom is important for their personal exploration and personal growth yeah if you’d have tried to teach me four weeks ago about the show that came before the andy griffith show i didn’t know andy griffith was a spin-off by the way i would have been like shut the [ __ ] up i don’t care not really i’m not rude but i wouldn’t have cared and yesterday i found myself reading all about the precursor show to the andy griffith show because it seemed really interesting to me and so yeah you learn when you’re motivated or interested and it’s kind of terrifying i mean if you look into it i believe steve jobs the guy who invented the ipod the iphone the ipad would not let his kids have an ipad because he believed in the process of boredom and that leads you to innovation and imagination and all those things yeah creativity so the guy who made these decided they weren’t good for his kids because he made them because he was bored and that’s one of the things they brought up in the the social dilemma documentary a bunch of the engineers and designers of these technologies either don’t allow their kids to be on it at all or have very restrictive limits yeah so because they realize the dangers of these things and one of the things that was interesting was and i like to think of it this way because it helps me to realize like it’s not like these cell phone companies or these social media companies are these evil people that are out to get us and destroy our society because that wasn’t really the goal or the design of these systems they really have lots of useful benefits they have lots of things that they can do for our society but there are risks that come along with it um they’re the devil so is there a quiz are we taking a quiz are we finding out if we’re addicted so yeah you can go online and take lots of quizzes most of them are like a lot of the online quizzes that you take so we’re going to answer some of these questions today but we’re not going to get the scale of what the results are because the online quizzes all work in a way where you got to answer them and then they’ll email you the results because they want to try to sell you something that sounds like they just want to roll you into internet addiction it definitely is exactly what it is and this particular site that i i like their quiz the best but i don’t want to promote the site so i’m not going to tell you which one it is do i find out which disney princess i am yeah for me personally answering the questions was more like self-reflective because again i don’t need some random [ __ ] person on the internet to tell me whether i’m addicted to my phone or not my behavior my interactions with my wife my interactions with my family how i feel about my behavior right are gonna tell me if i’m doing it too much or if it’s a problem that makes sense it’s just like my recovery like i don’t go to the internet and search for advice about my recovery i go to people that i trust my sponsor people my support group people that know me they’re the people that i want to get advice from yeah you’re an addict when you say you are right unless i say you are so i don’t necessarily trust the internet to tell me what i need to do about my phone addiction per se my cell phone would definitely know if i’m a phone addict yeah it’s probably the most inclusive information okay look at your time how long you spend yeah they have a meter on that i think so your phone screen time i don’t want to know i don’t know what mine is i don’t think i’ve ever looked

you’re on your way to work and you need to check the time to see if you’re running late how do you do it check my watch like a normal person check my phone of course oh hold on does it really say check my watch like a normal person does say like a normal person so i just got a watch for my birthday this last year and i wear it pretty regularly now i still forget to check the time one at half the time because i spent 20 years not wearing a watch because i said i have a phone in my pocket what the [ __ ] do i need to watch for it’s uncomfortable so i i don’t i take offense to that i take that personally i think i was very normal without a watch justification that’s fine so so i checked my phone of course it’s always within reach i ask someone to glance at the clock nearby

yeah why can’t i just glance at the clock nearby yeah i don’t know oh i’m sorry i read that wrong it said i asked someone else or glance at the clock nearby okay sorry i read that wrong hey billy can you look at that clock over there that i see and tell me what time it i can’t read clocks uh yeah that question i don’t like because when i’m on my way to work i’m driving and the clock is in the car mm-hmm so it’s right there next to the phone and i don’t have to push anything to see it yeah and i don’t wear a watch i don’t like jewelry of any kind really i wear my wedding ring that’s the only thing i don’t like other jewelry i don’t wear necklaces rings same and just because i find them uncomfortable right is really the only reason i have nothing against them so generally though not when i’m driving to work because that’s when i check the car time but any other time of the day when i want to check the time i generally do pull out my phone yeah i definitely check my time on my phone i pull out my phone and look and then i respond to the notifications and then i put my phone away and then i pull my phone out again because i forgot to check the time yeah that’s my pattern so where do you keep your phone while you sleep and here’s the options on my nightstand next to my bed of course it’s charging on the other side of my bedroom charging in another room or i don’t know i turned it off in my bag or something what kind of monster charges their phone in the other room well who turns their phone off ever that’s even more of a weirdo the guy who charges his phone in another room also has a list of names of people he’s going to shoot in the near future that’s [ __ ] weird i’m sorry in this day and age i do find that weird probably super healthy weird and again back to before i had like a smartphone when i had a flip phone or whatever we just charged all our phones out in the dining room we had like a little charging station area where we all kept our chargers plugged in all the time and that’s where my wife and i kept our phones charged all the time it wasn’t next to me next to my bed those charging stations lasted for about a year and then there was so much technology in your house it was like i don’t need a charging station i need an entire wall of plugs right what’s what the [ __ ] i need outlets everywhere and now and again i have eliminated a thing you know i don’t have an alarm clock next to my bed anymore you know my phone is there i use that for my white noise while i sleep well that’s the other thing i didn’t even think of i play a white noise while i sleep you know and it’s an app on my phone i use the technology in a way that i think helps me and i don’t think that that’s bad i don’t know if sleeping with noises is healthy or not i always assumed it was and it helps so i do it yeah i don’t know either i i have my alarm set and i use it and it definitely charges right next to my bed first my charge is right next to me too so have you ever checked your phone for the time got distracted by notifications on the screen and then put the phone back in your pocket only to forget what time it actually was just said i did that that is definitely what i do every time i check the time so yeah that’s the choices never it only happens once oh man that happens to me all the time yep that’s me you’re the all the time you just got to work and you realize you forgot your smartphone at home what do you do panic turn around go straight back home to get it i’m annoyed but not overly concerned i’ll go home to get it during my lunch break don’t really care i can go the whole day without it just fine chances are i have a laptop with me that can pretty much do everything my phone does so i won’t worry about it too much i’ll just pop the laptop open and answer text messages and whatever else i need to do on it and get all my notifications i don’t get the notifications as well though like i’ve got them turned off on the laptop because they’re stupid but yeah right and see this is one where like yeah i would probably have to turn around and go get it or maybe go get it at lunch but that’s because i use it for my like that’s part of my job is to have my phone so for me it’s like a work tool it is kind of a work tool for me too i just think i could probably get by without it but yeah i don’t know but also when i’m at work i don’t check my phone for other [ __ ] i guess occasionally i used to get on facebook on the computer at work but i don’t like check my phone for notifications and [ __ ] like that well and this is where calling it cell phone addiction becomes tricky because really if i’ve left my cell phone at home and i don’t go back to get it only because i have a laptop that does all the stuff it does and is connected to all the same [ __ ] is that any like i’m still doing it i just don’t have the phone i gotta be like i’m not doing heroin i’m just smoking weed right i just i got my method i got my cell phone suboxone right i get my fix some other way so how often do you check your phone during the day all the time probably every five minutes or so every 30 minutes or so at least once an hour once every few hours only when i hear it make a noise or when i need to use it for something in general when i’m doing nothing else all the time every five minutes yeah but if i get engaged in something like i mentioned if i have a phone call or anything like that i don’t worry about any notifications i’ve missed or anything like that like i’ll go extended periods of time where my interest is elsewhere and i don’t really care i just don’t have to do that very often so i don’t i won’t check it as if i’m doing something else i mean if i’m working i don’t really check it very often if i’m engaged in something i don’t check it very often but like at the same time like today later today i’ll go home and be watching football on my phone and football on the television at the same time so that i can watch two different games at the same time right but i don’t is that a football addiction or is that yeah see and that’s where we i like the idea that n.a just calls it addiction because you don’t have to it’s going to come out in a whole lot of sideways directions right i don’t have to specify because i i’m not any healthier whether that’s called football addiction or cell phone addiction right i’m still i’m still messed up yeah and i think part of what makes it and it and maybe this clinically isn’t right but i’ll just say for me the way i look at it is are there really these severe consequences to it like the rest of today i really don’t have a lot going on i’m gonna go home i mean could i be out doing some [ __ ] in the yard or engaged in some other stuff probably i mean obviously there’s some healthier things that i could be doing but most of my week i’m working and keeping up with things with the kids and around the house i don’t think taking a half a day to watch football that i enjoy is really a big deal and if anything really important came up i will turn it off and go take care of it i mean i still make dinner later on sundays and and take care of things that need to be done if there’s an emergency it’s not like i’m like blowing off everything i got to do in my life and freaking out about football i mean how important is this other thing that comes up yeah right when i go back to doing therapy i will be doing therapy sessions one hour at a time throughout the day with like a 15-minute break in between i won’t check my phone at all during a therapy session like ever that’s just not a thing i do so yeah i’ll pull it up once the person leaves and i have a couple minutes i’ll check it for a minute do my notes before the next person comes in but that’ll be a lot more of my day where i’m not checking it so really i mean it depends like right now my life is just not super busy i have the ability to check it but is that like the alcoholic saying like well i don’t drink at work

i only drink between clients yeah it does kind of sound shitty doesn’t it i mean i don’t actually drink during work as soon as i leave or as soon as i get right before i get there right the only thing that would like prove that to me would be if like in the middle of clients i started walking out to the bathroom to check my phone or something like maybe i do have a problem yeah right you’re out to dinner with some friends where is your phone out of sight out of mind in my pocket on vibrate so that i can check it under the table if i get a notification on the table in case i need it in my hand i can multitask no you can’t multitask you rude [ __ ] i’ll tell you that right now if that’s your answer you’re wrong yeah no mine’s in my pocket out of sight when i’m out at dinner with people we don’t do that i don’t do that and that was what i was talking about with like after the meeting and stuff if we go out to eat or something i’m fine with putting my phone away and not touching it the entire time we’re there not thinking anything of it that’s just how i get down yeah and and i am not but not and here comes my justification i really will only check or engage in like maybe text messaging with my wife or something like that i’m not like checking social media or engaged in a bunch of [ __ ] email or anything weird like that well and that’s where i like how my wife’s texts make a noise and the rest of my notifications on my phone don’t because i know if it buzzes you know makes that noise in my pocket that it’s something that might be worth checking that matters but beyond that like my wife generally knows that if i’m out and talking to people or having dinner with some guys i’m not gonna think anything of looking at my phone i just don’t i’m engaged i heard a group before where they would go out to eat after a meeting and everybody set their phones on top of each other in the in the middle of the table and then the first person that checked their phone paid for the meal for everybody and i was like cool that’s kind of cool but i’d be there all [ __ ] night because i’m too cheap bro i’m like [ __ ] that phone for this dinner i don’t care what it says ordering all kinds of extra [ __ ] and everything else because you know you’re not paying i’m like i will sit here until morning i am not touching my phone i’m cheap too i could probably win that yeah i guess if nobody checked it you actually split it the right way but i don’t know it’s an interesting concept but yeah i’m all for it i don’t when i’m out like that i really do my best to respect people and be engaged with them i’m giving them my time because it matters so i don’t want to be on my phone i agree i think i am too so which of these descriptions sounds most like your morning routine number one i get up ready for the day head out the door only after all that do i look at my phone two i get up and get ready then check my phone for the weather email social media while eating breakfast three i wake up and reach for my phone to turn off the alarm scroll through my social media accounts for a while then get up and get ready for the day where was the one that said i’d immediately look at my phone before i do anything else was that one there yeah that one wasn’t in there i guess that would be get up and turn off the alarm and start scrolling through your phone yeah yeah that’s pretty much what i do i mean i have a slightly different routine right now i’m sure it varies from time to time i get up turn the alarm off usually i get up before the alarm and turn the alarm off for some reason and then i go down make my coffee and i walk out front and i scroll through my phone and play while i smoke my cigar yeah and see here’s a weird i guess i don’t know technically i guess i would be the first one where it’s like i get up get ready for the day head out the door you know but in a way i don’t because one i turn my alarm off on my phone but i don’t do anything else with it i just turned the alarm off but i do use my phone for music while i’m at the gym and then i have my workout routine is on there as well my exercises and workout stuff is on my phone so i’m engaged with my phone but not for social media or facebook or email or any of that [ __ ] i’m using it what i feel like is as a tool that it was designed for it’s playing music and it’s you know sounds like a rationalization on track for my yeah yeah i mean that’s the hard part about this phone is it does so many it’s so intricately woven into my life in ways that are useful that it would be hard to picture living without it right do you ever use your phone while you’re in the bathroom yes all the time i might have it in my pocket but i don’t use it gross of course not do i ever use the bathroom without using my phone is the question never yeah me either i always take it in with me i will get up mid poop and go grab it if i forgot it i don’t even care no not if i just go in there to pee though i guess maybe that’s i don’t take it with me when i pee i do scroll through while you’re feeding one hand totally not addicted to my phone yeah i’m too paranoid i’ll drop it in the urine water then i have to fish it out yeah i do put like that extra awareness level on when i’m doing that i’m like i definitely do not want to drop this in the pea water i don’t use in the shower because then what would you do would you flush and hope that it didn’t go down or would you have to get your hands on getting it in there just right away just hand writing immediately bag of rice whatever oh what about poop water would you go into poop water i would have to it’s my [ __ ] phone bro cell phone addiction yeah i don’t know no what are you gonna do i mean if you flush and it goes down you’re [ __ ] your whole pipe’s gonna get clogged up it’s not gonna go all the way down that’s true you can’t just flush it you gotta i don’t know i mean you could try to get some like strainer or something and scoop it up i mean i would probably well i don’t know before i would stick my hand in there i would probably try to find like a long pair of pliers or something that i had to try to get it you don’t have the bathroom poop tongs sitting around at all times the phone emergency yeah the phone emergency poop tongs everybody needs these in their bathroom now i’m gonna market them would you rather have a conversation with someone through instant messaging or face to face it definitely depends on the person yeah yeah there’s a whole lot of people i can get out of conversations with through text messaging oh yeah i didn’t see that i’m bored you know got something come up no i in general if it’s somebody i really want to have a conversation with i love face-to-face conversation there is no replacement for that not a phone call not a video call that we do nowadays in pandemic times like that’s the second best but i would much rather be face to face with anybody much happier yeah i prefer face to face communications as well so how much do you pay attention to your phone’s battery life it’s a constant stressor if my phone is under 50 percent i start to plan how where i’m going to charge it i care enough to charge it before i leave the house but i don’t notice how much battery life it has left unless it notifies me that it is low or my phone shuts off sometimes because i forgot to charge it but i don’t usually notice

i have set my life up where i am never away from anything so long that it can’t be charged readily next to me generally i don’t stress it too too much but when i go on vacation is the kind of times i notice that because then you’re not around plugs all day long and so that’s the times when it does bother me a little bit i don’t know that i’m super worried about interactions with people though or notifications like i’m more worried about making sure i have it so i can take pictures and so a lot of times when i go on a vacation or a long day where i’m going to want it for that kind of thing i’ll turn the the airplane mode on or one of those other features battery savers yeah i don’t really care about the notifications i just want to make sure the battery life using it for your camera as well yeah yeah and i don’t even have a phone charger in my car which jen panics she’s like how do you not have a phone charger in your car i’m like charge it in the morning before i leave the house it’s on 100 when i get home sometimes it’s low usually especially at work it gets low sometimes i do have a charger at work because if i’m really busy right i’ll have to use it a lot but usually i don’t care that much i don’t use it that much when i’m out that i’m just always buy a charger your phone buzzes or bings do you check it immediately and of course the answers of course i check my phone as soon as i realize that it’s buzzed it depends if i’m in a meeting talking to someone i’ll wait a little bit to check it three not necessarily if i’m bored or have nothing to do i’ll check it but don’t feel the need to pick up my phone every time it demands me to huh my phone made a noise mine doesn’t make many noises yeah mine doesn’t either and when it does it just gets on my goddamn nerves it’s usually a phone call and i’m like what the [ __ ] are you bothering me for and it’s usually a spam call i’d have to say it depends if i’m in a meeting talking to someone i’ll wait a little bit to check it probably so why did you take this quiz because i was bored and scrolling through my phone i’m worried that i might be addicted to my phone i wanted proof that my phone habits aren’t that bad okay i admit it i need help i’m worried that i may be addicted to my phone yeah it’s definitely a weird thing to think about and for me i constantly am looking at different behaviors in my life to basically analyze the risk reward scenario and and to see whether the habits that i’m getting into are unhealthy or causing harm or causing unmanageability in my life right or are they just some things that i’m doing because i enjoy them and i like them and they make my life a little happier i think the really tricky part with this one is parsing it out between i mean there’s the cell phone addiction internet addiction technology addiction video game addiction porn addiction like how do you sort that out right because i think it would be very easy to have somebody come on who’s got all the same behaviors but it just happens to be that what they use their phone for is like porn videos and they don’t consider themselves a cell phone addict they’re a porn addict or a sex addict or it’s just so tricky trying to label all these different behaviors i almost feel like we just need a scale of and i don’t even know if addiction is the right word that we want to use but some word that encompasses all these things and it’s more the behaviors than the thing right and i think that’s the importance of conversations like these and i believe that’s what the social dilemma documentary like that’s sort of what it brings up it’s like it’s not a matter of trying to say you should use your phone or shouldn’t use your phone or your phone’s bad or facebook’s bad or any of that it’s really just awareness like we need to honestly take a look at what things are causing harm or destruction in our lives and how bad they are for some people it’s video games for some people it’s pornography and then we can plan what our course of action is pornography is my issue then the phone’s probably not the problem one of the other things they talked about in there as uh part of the stressors and part of people that are vulnerable to this stuff but people that have underlying issues going on in their life anxiety depression unresolved issues the same things that you typically see that people that are addicted to substances have are common with people that have some of these phone addiction and they got some aces internet addiction yeah and so some of the recommendations are cognitive behavioral therapy you know addressing some of these underlying issues and that may help with some of your phone addiction right issues and i’d love to have somebody on that goes to an internet addiction or phone addiction program i don’t even know if that yeah i don’t know if that’s the thing i’m sure it’s a thing but i have no idea where or how large or small it is maybe even an expert that treats people who struggle with this pretty frequently i just think that would be hugely interesting to get their perception on it so maybe in the future we’ll look into getting somebody like that on here that’d be great i guess i’d have to find them that would be step one and then invite them it’s interesting right because we can have these behaviors manifest in all different kinds of areas i think we talk about this a lot just that idea that some of them don’t seem as bad and i think we talked about it last week with stacey a little bit like where do you draw the line right is your fishing really a problem in your life is your artistry or musicianship or whatever these positive behaviors are you’re working out is that a problem for your life and what kind of distress is it causing and in the therapy world the number one qualification that every diagnosis needs is that it causes life problems like if it’s not a problem in your life it doesn’t matter if you really experience anxiety we’re not going to diagnose you period because it’s not causing an issue and i just think a lot of these the issues are smaller or not as easy to see right so like with the cell phone does it cause minor issues and some disconnectivity from the people in my life yeah yeah it does there’s no doubt about that that there’s some is it enough to really make me want to get up and do something about it not really it’s not like you know when heroin had me isolated in a dark room by myself or an alley like this is a little different right i’m like sitting on the couch next to my family so it still kind of feels cozy and that’s the tricky part i think is that these ones that don’t cause as much dire consequences and low bottoms are just hard to want to do anything about right and i think another part of this for me is recognizing one maybe some of my behaviors aren’t so bad or that i can keep an eye on something so that i don’t fall into the traps but also the awareness of how it’s affecting other people around me in my case specifically my kids right or even my wife because i tend to think she has an issue with cell phone stuff and we talk about that you know it’s nothing that’s a big secret i just i think she spends more time on her phone than she needs and she has some really unhealthy social habits centered around her phone and i didn’t want to call kim out on all that stuff but just saying well it’s things i’ve brought up and she recognizes that it can be an issue just having the conversations and awareness it’s like nobody’s surprised when you say to someone oh that person was drinking too much and became an alcoholic you know it’s like yeah that’s what alcohol does and i think the same thing with technology it’s like not everyone that picks up a phone is going to immediately become an alcoholic but the potential is there for people to get sucked in to fall into traps to get a phonaholic yeah to become a phonolike and of course it’s important that you recognize that there are differences if your issues pornography just taking away your phone probably won’t fix that because you can get porn other places yeah social media is the same way taking away the phone might be causing more stress in your life which just drives you to your addiction even more so right trying to figure out exactly what the problem is where the problem lies and then figuring out what to do about it so if you or someone you know is suffering from a phone addiction or an internet addiction please reach out to us because we would love to talk to you you got anything else about it no i think i feel vindicated in my phone usage oh man and i feel better about myself after my limited research into phone addiction ah i don’t feel any different i feel right about where i was i kind of know i sort of have a problem but that it also sort of works itself out as my life gets busier and so i’m probably not going to do anything right this second so i do have a a weird i don’t know if this is like chicken or the egg type stuff like so a bunch of the recommendations that they said i had already done not because i was trying to avoid technology but like the notifications thing all the notifications were off on my phone because it’s [ __ ] annoying that this thing is making all this noise in my life while i’m trying to go about my day so is that because i’m living a healthier life or trying to live a healthy life and engaging in certain practices that i happen to do that or is it just coincidence have you ever been around somebody that has all their notifications on yes oh my god it’s [ __ ] obnoxious

uh i’m like what the [ __ ] i [ __ ] hear it at work in the office all day people’s phones going off it’s annoying as [ __ ] and they’re embarrassed by it like when they’re sitting there with you they’re totally oh my god i’m sorry right and i’m like what god that’s how your life is all day long i would i don’t know so if you enjoyed the episode if you enjoy the show please reach out talk to us about it tell us about your experience with the show about what you’ve experienced with cell phone and internet addiction tell a friend about the show because that’s how people get to hear us and we get more people to interact and we learn more and more about the world because that is what this show is a personal journey of growth so while you’re addicted to your cell phone reach out to us all right that’s all we got we’ll talk to you next week have a great week if you enjoyed this podcast please feel free to share it with people you think might benefit from the conversation look us up on facebook twitter and instagram to join the conversation also and share your ideas with us we’d love to hear it


One response to “58: Smart Phone and Internet Addiction (Sort Of)”

  1. That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!