You're A Filthy Nomophobe And You Don't Even Know It!
Ok, filthy is a bit much, but you're still a nomo!
You're thinking wth is a nomophobe and is it contagious, well, you’ll just have to read on…
Patience shall you have - Yoda
If I don't answer your WhatsApp texts, I'm sorry, it's not that I don't want to talk to you, it's just that I turned off the notifications on my phone.
To some, it may seem crazy, but the truth is that it is the best decision I have made and you should probably do it too. I know what you may be thinking because people ask me a lot: How do you keep in touch with those who are trying to communicate with you? Don't you miss out on valuable information during the day?
Relax, I haven't thrown my phone away ... yet. I just decided that I will control when to check my phone and that he will not control me. At least until Elon Musk perfects Neuralink and I'm my own phone. Yeah, b*tch, the future is now!
Sorry, *clears throat* I got carried away.
I don't miss any important messages, calls or emails, it's just a matter of knowing what things are necessary during the day and what things are not. You will be surprised to know that important notifications are only one or two a day, max, everything else is unnecessary junk, unlike the Mindsmatter newsletter, now that's essential!
I'll tell you why to turn off your phone notifications and how it will help you with your mental health:
Incoming call from: stress
The main reason why I decided to regulate the use of my phone is that I realized that it caused me very high levels of stress. Although it seems a bit exaggerated, there are quite a few studies that support that theory. And when you are an anxious person like me, the consequences are even more worrisome.
Without realizing it, you are becoming dependent on your phone and all the stimuli that it brings, to the point that people who are deprived of theirs show withdrawal syndrome. People who have histories of addictive behavior show an increase in compulsion when exposed to long hours of use of phones and social media.
You're thinking "well, I'm not like that, this doesn't really apply to me" right? Well let me ask you, have you ever felt a buzz or heard the notification sound from your phone and it turned out there was nothing? This is called a ghost notification and it is a sign that your mobile is causing you stress. I used to feel dozens of these a day. That is the first red flag.
Everything at your fingertips, nothing for your attention
Neurologists have found that phone use affects your ability to focus and concentrate. There are hundreds of experiments and studies that prove it, but I will explain it to you in a simple way:
When was the last time you watched an entire movie without checking your phone once?
If the answer is years ago, I'm sorry to tell you that it's a bad sign. The way in which notifications appear at any second of the day and we usually stop doing whatever we were doing to check the phone has conditioned us. Our brain remains alert to attend and respond to any notification that appears and that prevents us from being focused on the task we perform. This can have long-term effects on our work, school, and daily life.
In addition to turning off notifications, do the exercise of putting your phone aside when you're in the middle of something that requires your attention. Keep that supercomputer in your pocket while chatting with a friend in a cafe, going out for a walk or watching an episode of your favorite show. Stop to smell the flowers without googling what kind of flowers they are or taking photos.
The rise of a new disorder: Nomophobia
AKA: NO MObile PHone PhoBIA. Look at it that way: just 10 years ago the iPhone 4 was released, Instagram wasn't even on our radar, and Twitter was only just beginning to gain popularity. The compulsive use of social media does not resemble today's dumpster fire in any way.
I'm not going to come up with the preachy speech of how busy you are watching a screen while missing out on the wonders of the real world. I'm also not suggesting that the solution is an Amish lifestyle, I love the internet and Netflix as much as anyone. Although some professionals advise the minimum use of the phone, the truth is that our lives depend a lot on them today.
I depend on my mobile device to work, study, access my exercise routines, entertain myself, buy groceries, guided meditation, and keep in touch with my family. Probably you too so I can't tell you to ditch your phone, actually because I can't tell you what to do, I'm not your mom. What I can do is explain to you in a simple and charismatic *toots own horn* way how to reduce the effects of notifications on our health.
The keys to turning off notifications
This is not a tutorial on how to access your phone's settings to turn off notifications, I hardly know how to turn on Bluetooth. A short google search will help you do this with your operating system. I will explain to you how to filter important notifications from trash.
You should not turn off each and every one of the notifications. I keep call and text notifications on at all times, mainly because someone rarely calls me so if someone does it must be important. What notifications should you keep off? Those of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, *shudders* TikTok ... I don't use any of these for work, so I don't need to be reminded that Stacy from high school liked a post from five years ago. I only check the news of these apps when I decide that it is time to do so.
Filter job notifications. I mostly use Gmail for work, but not all the emails I receive are about my job. Cancel all unwanted mailing list subscriptions, block spam, and select important contacts. I don't get notifications from Amazon to tell me there is a new sale on bamboo toothbrushes, but if a coworker sends me a memo, one does. You can also turn off these notifications during your days off and hours outside of work.
What about WhatsApp and instant messages? Here is a big mess, since on WhatsApp I have contacts from family, friends, coworkers, classmates and the guy who repaired my sink once. So I can get junk notifications as well as important messages from work. That will depend on your use of WhatsApp or iMessage or whatever you use. When I receive a message my phone will not ring or vibrate, but I will have a red bubble over the icon letting me know that there are unread messages, I will decide when to check them.
Since I did all this I stopped being anxiously attentive to any sound that my phone emits. I stopped feeling stress by not being able to check it at all times and I can say that I even sleep better.
Don't be a slave to a piece of plastic, no matter how necessary that piece of plastic is. When you turn off social media notifications and junk messages, you turn your phone into what it was really designed for, a tool. Try it and tell me how it went!
As a way of giving back to all of my subscribers, the price of the Workbook will be $1.99 until Sunday, this has been extended for 3 more days! Offer will expire 04/07/2021
Thank you all for being amazing!
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