I recently ditched my fancy Samsung smartphone for a basic Alcatel that performs calls, texts and would essentially survive a 100ft fall off a building. But why? Smartphones make things easier, improve our lives, and give us instant access to pretty much everything we want and need. There are actually quite a few benefits to ditching your smarthphone…
1. You become more efficient
I regularly notice at work the vast number of colleagues whipping their phones out to look at the latest notification and engage in pointless small talk on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. They could instead be working better, harder, and more efficiently on the current project or promotion they are chasing.
Let us also consider the entrepreneur, or business man. How can anyone run the best business possible by wasting our time scrolling through rubbish on our smartphones? Simply put, smartphones steal our efficiency, our attention, and our time, which could be spent more productively on our work, our business, or our general life goals.
Now instead of reaching habitually for my pocket, I have zero interruptions other than important texts or calls. If I want to access Facebook or email, I do so from my own laptop which doesn’t update me constantly and rob my attention on a moments basis
2. You quit a serious addiction
As you may notice just walking down the street, at work, in the family home, or out to dinner (this is my least favorite), people can’t seem to put their smartphones down. It seems to be an extra limb for them that they can’t let go. They reach obsessively for their pocket and mentally drooling at the thought of any new notifications or news.
There is plenty of evidence that tools like the smartphone affect the levels of dopamine in the brain – a key neurotransmitter which is involved in addiction formation. In addition to this, one process which makes addiction even stronger is the phenomenon known as “intermittent rewards”. Rats (which have remarkably similar brain structures to us) enjoyed random different rewards vastly more than the exact same big reward every time – in other words they enjoyed the stimulation from novelty. This explains why gambling, gaming, and pornography can be so addictive. Smartphones aren’t much different.
If you don’t think you are addicted, you’re not alone. I never thought I was. This is because we are contact users and never stop. How can you know if you are addicted or not if you never try to stop? See how your brain reacts if you spend a day without it.
3. You improve your social skills
When people use their smartphones constantly, they are unwittingly training their neuroplastic brains to become less socially effective. By avoiding daily interactions face to face and increasingly using text and a screen to communicate, we become weaker socially and even experience heightened social anxiety when we do have to communicate.
Now that I’m without a smartphone, I’m naturally more confident and welcome in-person social interaction. I’ve become smoother and wittier in my conversations with men and girls I want to flirt with. I can longer turn to the addictive familiarity of my electronic screen whenever I feel bored or uncertain in public. Which leads me onto reason four…
4. You patience and focus improves
When I had my old smartphone, I used to pull it out and read something, anything, whenever I felt uncertain, bored or uneasy in public. It was my go to drug – a filler to plug my time.
Whilst this one was tough to get used to, it has undoubtedly been very beneficial for me. In ditching my smartphone my attention span has improved exponentially. Indeed I don’t believe I would have ever written an article for Return Of Kings despite loving the site and its material. Just sitting here and voluntarily spending my time thinking hard to write an article of value would have been too much for me. Why work on anything when you can browse your smartphone? Why be patient when you can look at want you want NOW on demand.
The smartphone breeds an expectation for instant gratification which, while great in the moment, spills over into the rest of your life and diminishes the amount of patience and focus you have for other things.
5. You’ll be pushed into positive activities
I used to spend a great deal of my time sitting at home and flicking through my smartphone. It was easy, fun and satisfying. So why give that up, you might ask?
Since throwing my smartphone in a public trash can, I have been forced to come up with positive ways to entertain myself and fill my time. Whether that is going to the gym, going out to social events, being productive, playing guitar or simply heading out of the house, I now cannot fall back on my smartphone as a boredom cushion. This is doing wonders for my life, I am getting better at all of the activities I mentioned and feel as if I am rising above the average person on the street in improving myself as a man.
As you might’ve thought already, this has actually helped me meet women in person. Being without a smartphone has got me talking to women than ever before.
Smartphones have their place in the world, but if you want to maximize your chances of being productive, effective, happy, and the best version of yourself, I believe those chances are massively increased when you ditch the vampire that is your smartphone.
If you don’t want to be as extreme as me then why not just ditch it for a shorter period so you can see some of the positive benefits yourself? If anything, it will confirm how addicted (or not) you are, so you can evaluate for yourself how beneficial it would be to quit or at least greatly reduce your usage.
I have been asked by my friends why I didn’t just reduce my own usage instead of throwing away my entire handset. My answer is that discipline does not have to sit on the edge of temptation. I was heavily addicted to my smartphone, but no longer.
Read More: Is Your Smartphone Cock Blocking You?