We’re all more addicted to our mobile devices than we think we are, and the younger you are the worse it is. Study after study has revealed that cell phones are a stress increaser, and when you mix that with the dopamine addictiveness of social media, you have a very destructive addiction on your hand.
At Adelphi University, nearly two-dozen students took part in a course called “Life Unplugged” where they would try to break that addiction by agreeing to turn in their cell phones for a week, and revert back to classic means of doing things such as using alarm clocks, wearing wristwatches, and writing things down by hand to remind themselves of things they had to do.
The initial going was pretty difficult for students. One girl mentioned that she was “freaking out” and “could probably cry right now.” Another boy showed that his hand was shaking.
While this may seem funny to some of us who grew up without devices like these, to these kids, the addiction is very real. They’ve never been without phones connecting them to their friends and social media accounts.
The phones were sealed away in little plastic bags and students went out to live their lives without the devices. Unsurprisingly, they quickly adjusted to everyday life, and by the time the seven days were up, the students revealed that their lives had improved drastically according to WCBS-TV:
“Everything is perfect right now. I’m having a lot better relationships… it’s a stress free environment no pressure about social media,” Jacob Dannenberg said.
“I think it’s really refreshing and relaxing… I was able to fall asleep a lot easier,” student Adrianna Cigliano.
Even the professors noticed a remarkable improvement:
“Doing homework was 100 percent easier. I got it done faster, I was in the zone,” Cigliano said.
Prof. Freitas says it’s important for everyone to assess their addiction.
“Are the conveniences worth it because the drawback are pretty significant,” Freitas said.
“The fact that no one can focus, that my students can’t sleep… They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on.”
The students weren’t very excited to get their phones back when it came time to retrieve them, and when they reactivated them and the notifications began flooding in, they could feel the stress creep back.
“Oh my God, this is so bad!… I just want to shut it off now!” said one student as she watched the notifications roll in.