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Do you feel addicted to virtual reality? This article is for you

16 May 2014 / 15:05:09  GRReporter
3998 reads

Ivan Petkov

Smartphones are now taking precedence over ordinary mobile phones. Tablets are beating traditional desktops and laptops. In addition to this, wearable devices such as smart watches, glasses and fitness bracelets are already available to us as well. It is no longer news. The fact is that the time we spend staring at the screens of these portable smart gadgets is increasing each year. You can look at the infographics with data on the topic in last week’s article. So, it is reasonable to ask the following questions: where does the line that separates the benefits of these devices, which companies boldly define as our "life companions", from the addiction to them lie? At what point does comfort turn into a painful need to be constantly connected with our virtual life, forgetting the real one?

There is no denying that smartphones and all the other tech gadgets that surround us make our lives easier and are great assistants in our work. Many people who do not lose sight of their smartphone say they would like to use it less but this is impossible because of their official duties. A piece of research conducted by Radicati Group shows that in 2015 we will receive 22% more business emails than three years ago and we will send 24% more. A large number of employees whose work is actively connected with correspondence within the company as well as with correspondence with customers, suppliers and partners recognize that they often read emails in bed, while eating or while in the company of friends and relatives.

On the other side we have social networking and chat applications, games, listening to music and the  reception of various multimedia content on our portable devices, in the bus, in the underground... on the couch... everywhere.

It is easy to turn these digital assistants, gadgets for communication and entertainment, into devices that dictate and obsess our lives.

How can you find out whether you have become dependent on a smartphone or tablet? See if you meet the following five conditions:

1. You cannot remember the last time when you were without your smartphone or tablet.

Your favourite device is always at hand, while you are on a business trip, vacation, holiday or journey, or in your daily round. You literally never part with it, and every sound it emits is an opportunity to turn the screen on and see the new and exciting things awaiting you on it.

2. You begin the day with your smartphone or tablet.

The first thing you do in the morning is stop the alarm that wakes you up and, sleepily, look at the familiar screen. What happened at night, what is the news, what happened in the stock market? What happened to the game that you have been playing for months? The results of a piece of research conducted by IDC show that as many as 79% of smartphone users spend with their smartphone at least 15 minutes after waking up, and 62% take it immediately after waking up.

3. You use your smartphone or tablet even when your computer is under your nose.

Only 17% of Google searches were made ​​through mobile devices by people on the move. This means that users are increasingly ignoring computers and using mobile smart devices, because they do not want to get moving and get up from the couch, nor to reach out for the bigger and more convenient computer monitor in front of them while sitting in the office chair. 
4. You are constantly worried about losing your phone.

I understand you. You have personal data, bank accounts, confidential business information ... but you often feel panicked at the thought that you could be unaware of what is going on within your virtual life. 84% of women feel panicked at the thought that they could lose their smartphone but "only" 63% of men share the same feelings resulting from the unwanted separation from the "small adviser".

5. You end the day with a phone or tablet in your hand.

After spending the day with your phone, being anxious about parting with your favourite portable gadget, you are unable to put it aside at the end of the day too. The last sign that you are addicted to your phone is when you hold your "companion" in bed, with your eyes closing and your head nodding. As many as 54 % of smartphone owners share the last moments of the day with their favourite gadgets. There are also special cases of addiction, when people wake up at night to check out their Facebook, email or chat profile.

Everything described above may seem exaggerated but that is only if you do not yet have a smartphone or tablet or if you are one of the few reasonable users who are not yet addicted to them and are moderate in terms of their use.

Is it possible that you are not constantly "online", obsessed by your mobile gadgets? Of course, it is. Here are some ideas to resist the temptation:

1. Use the time in the morning to prepare for the day.

I know you will say that is what you do by grabbing your phone or tablet before you are fully awake. I have no statistics available, but I believe that the constant staring at the screen of your favourite gadget leads to additional stress and strains the eyes and brain. Starting the day with stress is not the most reasonable and healthy strategy. You can do so many things in the morning. Wake up with a smile and take a few moments of blissful relaxation while lying in bed for a few minutes. Look at your loved one. Open the window and greet the new day. Do some exercises or enjoy a cup of coffee. A whole day lies ahead when you can take in information. 

Do you feel addicted to your smartphone or tablet?
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