By Deepa Thomas
Phantom Vibration Syndrome is a fancy term for falsely perceiving that your phone is vibrating or ringing even when it is not. Leaving aside that most of us have often experienced this feeling, just the fact that a term has been framed for it gives us a glimpse of the extent of cell phone addiction.
The very phrase ‘mobile phone addiction’ makes most of us cringe. We’ve heard it so often from nagging parents and relatives, muttering under their breath and giving us disdainful looks like it’s right next to murder in their books.
But stop for a moment and give it a thought, can ‘cell phone addiction’ be equated to ‘murder’? Seems quite farfetched right? But your cell phone addiction can indeed be a killer, a cold-blooded murderer of time.
If I had walked as many miles as I’ve scrolled with my thumb till date, I could have probably entered in last year’s Olympics. If you’ve never felt guilty about wasting time on your phone when you were supposed to/could have done more productive activities, then you are either not addicted to your phone or you’re just more cold-blooded than I am.
The first step to solving this problem is identifying whether you have one or not. This test is quite simple. All you need for this is an older person, preferably your parent but a relative will work just as fine. Spend a week close to the person in concern and go about your work normally but in their presence. During the course of the week, they will have called you a cell phone addict several times, even without being asked.
Some of you gifted ones don’t even need to take the test because your mom is probably calling you one now as you read this article while browsing your Facebook newsfeed simultaneously. In that case, congratulations! You have passed with flying colours and you have wasted many many hours of your life.
Before we go ahead with solving this problem, I feel the need for a less cringe-worthy phrase than ‘cell phone addiction’. Henceforth the phrase will be replaced with ‘digital hyperactivity’ (a more feel-good term). Being a digitally hyperactive person myself (my mom tells me so several times a day, thus proving its validity) I believe I am qualified enough to hand out a few tips.
The first step is to reduce the time you spend online. Now, don’t take any drastic measures like resolve not to use your phone for a whole week because you’ll probably end up checking your Whatsapp messages with your WiFi/mobile data turned off so that your ‘last seen’ doesn’t change (been there, done that).
Besides, no one ever said that using your phone is bad, only too much of it is. So start by reducing the number of hours you spend online. You could start by restricting yourself to 3 hours per day for a fortnight, then 2, and then, if you’re feeling extremely courageous, 1 hour per day.
The next step is to fill in your day with other activities that you enjoy. Find a new hobby, take up an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn how to play, refine those writing skills, take dancing classes, give that belly fat a workout or do something you’ve always wanted to but never had the time for. We have all been blessed with talents and now that the time-eater’s appetite is under control, you should find out what yours is and pursue it.
By the end of a month or two, you might be able to take long vacations from your phone without thinking twice about it! I haven’t experienced it yet but the rumour is that long stretches of offline days can be quite blissful.
Well, that’s one for the bucket list!
Image Credits: Google Images