Regina’s gaze was fixed on her smartphone. She was enjoying those short, yet ridiculous videos on TikTok.
Philip, Regina’s husband, was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. He was fully aware of his wife’s addiction to social media.
Regina laughed at the videos she saw and the horrible part was that she did not look in her husband’s direction during the time that she held her smartphone in her hand.
Philip decided to make fun of her ― the harmless type of fun that would prove to his wife, Regina, that she was addicted to social media. “Sweetheart, would you like me to spray paint your hair green and light it on fire?” Philip asked jokingly.
“Sure, anything, darling,” Regina replied without paying attention to what Philip said.
“Regina, please put the smartphone down on the table and look at me,” Philip said in a loud tone of voice.
Regina followed Philip’s instructions and looked at him with a concerned-looking facial expression. “Is there anything wrong, Philip?” Regina asked.
“Yes, Regina, there is a huge problem,” Philip said pointing to Regina’s smartphone. “A while ago, I asked you if you wanted me to spray paint your hair green and light it on fire and you gave me the okay to do so.”
Regina felt embarrassed. She knew that her husband had caught on to her social media addiction.
“Regina, you need to replace that smartphone of yours with a dumbphone!” Philip said in a stern tone of voice.
“A dumbphone?” Regina asked.
“Yes, a dumbphone!” Philip replied. “A dumbphone is the opposite of a smartphone; a phone that is similar in every way to those simple cellular phones that we used almost two decades ago.”
Regina tried to imagine what her life would be like without a smartphone. In her mind’s eye, she saw herself not checking any sort of social media on a mobile phone (It was a future that she dreaded with every fibre of her being).
Philip placed a plate with a slice of toast with raspberry jam on it and a cup of Earl Grey tea in front of her and said, “After we have finished eating breakfast, I am taking you shopping; you are getting a brand new dumbphone today!”
Countless People From Around The World Are Addicted To Social Media
Unfortunately, there are countless people like Regina ― people who are addicted to viewing their social media accounts around the clock on their smartphones.
I recommend reading, Why Are We Addicted To Social Media: The Psychology Of Likes by Dr. Steve Rose, to gain a better understanding of the reason why some people become heavily addicted to social media.
The bad news is that smartphones make it easy for social media addicts to gain access to their social media accounts.
The Smartphone Is Not Inherently Bad
The smartphone can be used in a positive manner; for example it can be used to:
- Conduct online banking.
- Pay your bills.
- Check your email messages.
- Make phone calls.
- Send text messages.
- Order food from restaurants and order groceries from various supermarkets or order food directly from food and beverage manufacturers online.
- Order shoes and clothing online.
- Order electronic items online.
- Publish blog posts online.
- Read articles online.
- Watch movies online.
- Make hotel reservations.
- Book flights.
That, my friend, is merely a small sample of the things that a person can do with the help of their smartphone.
The problem occurs when the smartphone becomes the master and you become its servant.
The smartphone keeps the social media addict connected to their social media accounts, twenty-four hours, seven days a week; thus providing the social media addict with constant dopamine fixes.
An Epiphany That Was Made While Attending My Uncle’s Birthday Party
This memory will always remain in my mind:
Many years ago, at one of my uncle’s birthday parties, his young nieces and nephews were all in a corner with their heads down.
What were they doing with their heads down?
They were all engrossed with their smartphones (They were mesmerized by what was taking place on their social media accounts).
Imagine, going to a birthday party and only spending the majority of your time checking out the goings-on on social media on your smartphone (That is insane).
Dear friend, in addition to having fun, the attendees of the birthday party are supposed to be interacting with the host or hostess and each other face-to-face.
Therefore, going to a birthday party and spending the majority of your time checking out your social media accounts and interacting with them more than you interact with the people at the birthday party is morbid (Unfortunately, this is what life has come to).
Dumbphones To The Rescue!
Many people have used dumbphones to help curb their social media addiction.
Dumbphones are simple; one can only use them to make phone calls, receive phone calls, send text messages and receive text messages.
Therefore, using dumbphones to check out one’s social media accounts is totally out of the picture.
There were those who felt emancipated because they were no longer grasped by social media’s invisible hand.
The Thoughts That Some People Are Thinking
Some of the people who are reading this are probably thinking, “Renard, what about the computers that people have at home? They can still use their computers to access their social media accounts.”
They are correct. People can still access their social media accounts via their computers.
The good news is that you can block those social media websites on your computer; Aaron Brook’s article, 10 Best Website Blockers to Block Facebook, Instagram & More, will provide you with instructions on how to block those social media networks.
If you are a Linux user can read Magesh Maruthamuthu’s article, How to Block the Access to Certain Websites on Linux; it will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to go about blocking social media websites.
Replacing your smartphone with a dumbphone is certainly an effective approach to weaning yourself off of social media.
You will also regain more control over your life and finally do the things that you were too busy to do while you were hooked on social media.
And, if for some reason you have failed at staying away from social media despite having a dumbphone, you will have to go a step further by booking multiple sessions with an addiction counsellor or a psychiatrist.