Smartphone addiction is real

It’s a tough fact to face in this day and age that we are very reliant on that small device we almost carry everywhere with us: our mobile phones. It’s crazy to think that such a small thing can be such a large part of our everyday lives. It is our main communication point with the rest of the world; however, can we all really attest to only using it for communication purposes? I mean, if we did, why wouldn’t we all just still use flip phones if that was the only reason for having one?

Many of us can spend hours on it mindlessly surfing the Internet, or browsing Facebook or Instagram for useless purposes. So is there a chance that we are really addicted to our smart phone? After all, companies like Apple, Facebook and Microsoft spend millions a year in an attempt to keep us glued to our screen for as long as possible. Cleary their efforts are working, with the average person spending at least 20 hours a week on their phone. These statistics get worse the younger the adult is, as they grew up surrounded by these technologies. It is just second nature to them and has become an integral part of their life. There are so many functions packed inside such a small device to keep a kid entertained for hours. Whether they are messaging their fun group chat with friends, staring at their crush’s Instagram pictures or watching the latest episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix, it is all packed into that little device.

How to tackle the smartphone addiction

Many of us are victims of the smartphone market and currently own one, probably spending more time than necessary on it per week if you had to admit it. But, as I said, there are a lot of smart people who are dedicating themselves to make this phone as addictive as a drug. So is this addiction really our fault when this small device is becoming as addictive as some of the world’s most addictive substances, like heroin addiction? Although the symptoms of withdrawals from a lack of phone usage are probably not comparable to, say, opioid withdrawal symptoms, it can still
damage us psychologically. Studies have shown that we check our phones
47 times a day, and this equates to opening it up every 19 minutes of our waking lives. We are becoming a slave to the system all because of psychological tricks some of the world’s smartest people are using on us.

Take, for example, Snapchat’s streak feature. When two people send and receive Snaps with each other for days on end, both receive emoji flames next to their names, alongside a number, which ticks up every 24 hours, indicating how long the two have maintained their connection. If either misses a day, both lose their flame. That interface, while playful, capitalizes on what psychologists call the endowed progress effect. Fearful of zeroing out their banked progress, teenagers have handed over their login information to friends before vacations simply so that someone can help them maintain their streak. These little tricks are what keeps us hooked on to our phones and the apps it possesses. So how can we break free of this?

When is enough enough

I think when you find yourself spending hours above what you need to be on your smartphone, you should question whether you need to make a change to your life and everyday routine. That time could be much better spent on other activities and used much more productively. If you are capable of wasting so much time every day, you probably aren’t putting enough work into becoming the best you that you can possibly be. I think starting off by limiting your phone use to less than 30 minutes a day above what you need (such as checking important messages being sent or received, phone calls you need to place, facts you need to search on the internet etc.) are all acceptable uses of the phone.

However, scrolling the Facebook and Instagram feed for an hour straight definitely isn’t a good use of your time. There are much better ways to spend this time, because it’s a precious thing and we only get so much time each day. Once you get used to limiting your time, start to cut it down each day. After a while, you will start to be more productive in bettering yourself and your life, which should always be our main goal.

Home Automation

The future is here, smart home devices are all the buzz to get updated with the latest gadgets. Around ten years ago, just the idea of controlling your home’s functions from the touch of a phone via seemed like pure science fiction. Today, apps and wireless smart home devices like Amazon’s Alexa can manage your interior temperature, turn down your lights, change your living room playlist, and even recommend the next purchase that would upgrade your crib to the next level. Who knows what will develop next as the biggest tech giants in the world are racing against the clock to create the best innovation in the market. Yet, with changes in how things operate also comes increased risk with user data and safety. Here’s a breakdown on the best smartphone devices that’s risen to the top of user choices within the past year. While they’re a bit on the pricey side, the benefits far outweigh the temporary cost as it provides a level of convenience you’ll love.  

 

  1. Introducing the Momo Smart Security robot. This is no ordinary gimmick or fantasy smart home device idea from the age of Star Wars. This robot is fully equipped with having surprisingly accurate facial recognition, detailed sound detection, and quick motion sensors to ensure your home is safe and sound. If there’s any case that something odd or sudden catches its attention, it sends an automatic alert to your smartphone so you’re in the loop about what’s going on around your home. The smart home device also has an integrated AI program that can intuitively learn your personal living habits and adjust the way it operates to compliment it the best. There’s no surprise that it also can sync up to other devices in your home as well, allowing for easy access and set up if your home is already decked out with new technology.
  2. Stovetop Smart Knobs are the new name in the game for a smart house. Forget the old days of accidentally leaving your stove on too long, risking the consequence of burning your entire kitchen done. No more will you have to worry about burning your food either or waiting too long for your steak to become well done. The smoke and gas detector that comes built into these futuristic looking smart knobs has a built-in motion sensor.  While it sounds unnecessary and like a waste of money, it’s great to have a device that’s tracking whether you’re actually using your stove or not at a given moment. Every time it senses too much smoke developing from your food or that you walked away from the stove for too long, it will automatically turn off the knobs.
  3. Tired of your traditional Wifi system? The new Wi-fi and air monitoring smart house device is great to make sure your internal environment is safe to breathe in. This monitor that released not too long ago is pretty to the eye and makes for a beautiful addition to your decorations. It easily keeps track of the room temperature, changes in humidity, and even detects if there are dangerous levels of carbon monoxide that may be present in the room. By sending immediate notifications to your phone via your home’s Wi-Fi, you can stay alert on the change you will have to stay out of the area. If your phone isn’t near you at the moment, the device will still light up in variety of colors as an alarm of sudden changes in the room’s environment. If you’re a parent of small children or pets, this is a no brainer to integrate for a variety of home automation options at your fingertips.
  4. If you need a new and improved remote control, the Knocki remote control device is a stunning choice. It truly is an innovation of its own, as it can transform any type of surface that it is placed on into a touchscreen interface to control you home. That’s it, one attachment and the ultimate smart home device is at your fingertips. Be it your floor, countertop, or dog’s stool, it can work with a variety of materials. From there, you can then direct different controls for your TV, controlling your home temperature for your smart house, and locating your lost home with different tapping patterns you assign on your own. Proceed with caution if you feel that you can no longer do anything more than making a few taps at a time.

Upgrade Your Home 

Having a smart house doesn’t have to be complicated thanks to the ease of use with these products. Even if one isn’t your cup of tea, there’s guaranteed an alternative that’s already on the market that will suit your personal needs best. Upgrading your control system can spark a breadth of home automation options to save you time, money, and headache in case situations go south when you’re not home. Smart home devices are also on the trajectory of improving with each month, as experts within the fields of computer science and software engineering are working hard on making critical improvements. Explore your options and see where the tech takes you!

Anxiety For Days

 

Shame and guilt are two feelings that aren’t uncommon if you’re going through anxiety. If you’re a guy, you know very well that letting go of your feelings and expressing extremely negative emotions sometimes isn’t the best action to take. Anxiety in men is no different from anxiety in women, as it takes a dark toll on the mental state, emotions, and overall sense of motivation in both genders. As a stressed out college student, I’ve had my fair share of these types of feelings as I’m always trying to keep up with school, sleep, and still having somewhat of a social life. Some people can easily succumb to the effect that anxiety can bring, and who can blame them? When you’re trapped in that kind of mindset, it’s really hard to break that cycle of not feeling like you can conquer your goals and get on with day.

What I’ve found to best help my anxiety is practicing meditation and yoga in the morning. Yoga for men is actually pretty popular these days as it can release pent up tension, stress, and stiff muscles from all the work coming at them throughout the day. Let’s break down how it can help with the shame anxiety can cause and the best ways to recognize when an anxiety attack could strike.

Anxiety Symptoms in Men

Symptoms of anxiety in men can be both subtle and obvious to someone who’s not experiencing the stomach churning feelings they are going through. For lots of men I know, the upset of anxiety can be highly unsettling, but usually it’s not enough to make them take action to get rid of it. This is a damaging mistake, as chronic anxiety won’t just disappear if it’s set on the back burner of your mind.

If any symptoms of anxiety are starting to creep on your life, be sure to look for your urge to initially tough it out in an effort to avoid being seen as “weak”. You will want to make sure that if you need help, you seek it. Anxiety is a natural emotion, and everyone goes through it from time to time when something negative happens. The worst thing to do when you feel it is to subdue it or hide it from your family and friends. Having a strong social support system is key to communicating your struggles and just having a shoulder lean on. Anxiety disorders are also treatable if you seek the resources to deal with it effectively, so if you’re suffering from intense symptoms I would advise you to find a professional to talk to as soon as possible.

Besides ignoring the initial signs of anxiety, men can also be prone to turning to drugs and alcohol to cover the shame and guilt they are feeling. Anxiety disorders and substance abuse go hand in hand as they create synergy in a highly negative cycle. In fact, approximately one-fifth of all people who suffer from an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring drug or alcohol addiction to deal with. Men make up a large portion of this group and can find it tempting to turn it its effects to escape from their dark reality.

Confronting Your Anxiety

My first tip for dealing with your stress, especially for helping anxiety in men, is to first adopt a healthy and wholesome diet. Most people don’t realize that eating the wrong foods on a daily basis plays a huge role in your mental and physical health. Foods high in fat, sugar, and simple carbs are not the best way to decrease anxiety and boost energy levels. What you do want to do though is eat fresh fruits, veggies, and a diet high in protein to keep your mind clear throughout the day. Make sure to take your vitamins as well and drink plenty of water during the morning and night as well to keep yourself nourished!

Another way to combat anxiety is to develop a regular habit in the exercise you enjoy the most. This doesn’t mean you have to blast through five miles of running every day or lift two hundred pounds. As long as you get your heart rate up for at least half an hour to an hour a day, you’ll reap the benefits and positive hormones that exercise can release. Studies show that patients who struggled with symptoms of depression and anxiety showed significant
improvement when they paired a healthy diet with ample and consistent exercise. 
Exercise effectively shifts your focus away from your sessions of anxiety and helps you literally sweat out your sweat. My go-to exercise is doing yoga, especially during the morning and evening. Yoga for men includes lots of movements to build strength and widen flexibility over time. If you supplement your regular exercise routine with yoga classes, you’ll also be able to activate sections of muscle that are sometimes neglected. Most yoga classes also begin with a basic reminder to treat your body right and acknowledge its limits. Being in touch with your body helps you practice reducing anxiety overall and the risk of injury when you’re doing other exercises. Additionally, muscles that are well stretched recover faster and keep you strong!

Final Thoughts

Don’t let anxiety and stress take over your life. Take action and confront your fears. If any of your anxiety symptoms have dimmed your sense of happiness and life, certainly don’t give up. Take proactive measures to get the type of treatment you need from a professional before waiting too long. I know that I definitely regretted waiting weeks on end by trying to solve issues with my own anxiety alone. Trust me, it’s much harder to find the answers and do things right when no one else is holding you accountable. You’ll see that acting sooner and later will reap all the great benefits!

Dangerous diet pills

Every day we’re exposed to thousands of images and standards of beauty from the media. Facebook videos, Instagram ads, magazine spreads, and television clips are all projecting different brands that show off men and women with toned and lean physiques. While we may turn a blind eye and think that these images won’t affect us, they are rotating through our mind when we’re not aware and can stimulate negative body image. With that pressure comes the urge to look great and lose weight fast, and many who feel necessary turn to dangerous diet pills that are sometimes even FDA banned to burn off fat.

It’s important to know why these pills are so dangerous to the body and what the healthier ways are to lose weight. While the process to get a leaner body isn’t a magic fix like these brands promise, with enough consistency and effort you can get the physique of your dreams! Make sure to learn the wholesome ways to teach your body healthy habits so you can build a stronger self both mentally and physically.

Avoid An Eating Disorder

You might think that stopping all your daily meals will help contribute to losing weight, but the opposite is true. Doing that will only shut your metabolism down over time and leave you feeling incredibly tired, cranky, and disheartened from becoming healthier. In general, try to avoid any types of behaviors or attitudes that focus too much on your weight loss, dieting, and controlling of food out of proportion. If you’re spending hours every day counting your calories down to each number, you might be expending too much concentration rather than focusing on getting enough exercise and eating whole foods. However, counting certain aspects of nutrition like macronutrients is a great idea (ie. your daily volume of carbohydrates, fats, and protein) as you’re looking at your daily eating habits in the bigger picture. The worst thing to do is to completely refuse to eat certain foods that make you weak. We all have that amazing food item we crave from time to time like chocolate, pizza, ice cream, fried chicken, you name it. Mine personally is Oreos and it’s sometimes incredibly hard to not have it as a treat! The key is to enjoy it in moderation and not fall into an abstinence and binge cycle with those unhealthier foods.

If you feel that you are experiencing an urge to control your eating too much, it’s important to know that there’s many misconceptions about going about them. Studies within nutrition have recently shown that genetics account for up to 80% of the chance for developing eating disorders. Such disorders can drastically affect your brain and if left untreated can damage your bones, reproductive health, skin, and other organs for life. Regardless of background, men and women of all types of backgrounds can suffer from eating disorders and even seek out banned weight loss pills to cope. That vicious cycle of under eating and taking pills with a strong substance doesn’t treat the body well at all.

Pill Precaution

Supplements are awesome to take as part of your weight loss, especially when paired with proper diet and exercise. Creatine, protein powder, and amino acids are all popular choices that help fuel your muscles before and after a workout. These give them the proper endurance to work out properly, maintain your building lean muscle, and burn fat in a healthy way by  boosting your metabolism naturally. The wrong supplements to take are FDA banned diet pills that some people may say works like a charm. Whoever they are, they’re telling a flat out lie as relying on a strong drug to lose weight never works well. Fad diets that include taking diet pills everyday usually cut your calories too low and can decrease your ability to use energy to fuel your body. Some of the fad diet dangers associated with under-eating for a long period of time include having trouble sleeping, problems with infertility, consistent acne, increases in body fat, reduced strength and even mental disorders like depression. It’s best to stay away from this alternative, even if you are just looking to drop a couple pounds.

Healthy Alternatives

There’s no reason to revert to a fad diet, under eating, or using dangerous diet pills to get the body you’ve always wanted. Being proactive about your options is the best way to go when you want to lose weight or build more muscle. It will take a lot of time and consistent effort to get the results you want, but you’ll feel so much better about working hard toward your goal. Be wary of what the media tells you as brands can build a facade of what works, or promote images of models who are otherwise pretty touched up and Photoshopped before being published mainstream. The unrealistic body image that’s widely shared within the media seriously distorts our reality and allows thousands of people to believe they’re abnormally over weight. Shoot for health instead of a measurement, and you’ll so much more happy being a better version of yourself!