Phone Addiction? Try this Practice—Phone in Hand

This mindfulness practice can help transform your relationship to your phone—the very thing that can sometimes pull us toward mindlessness. 

jamesbin/Dollar Photo Club

I just set my phone down to write this post, but thankfully and notably, it’s well within arm’s reach. As a psychologist, therapist, and parent, I consider the following to be of great concern:

There is research suggesting that using cell phones for only a half hour a day for ten years doubles one’s risk of brain cancer. The soreness in our fingers and wrists from texting too much is so prevalent that the term “text claw” has entered our lexicon. “Problematic Internet Use” (PIU) is now considered a behavioral addiction, with almost half (48 %) of participants in one study considered “Internet addicts.” In her remarkable book, Reclaiming Conversation (2015), MIT professor Sherry Turkle discusses research pointing to how a quarter of teens in the US are connected to a device within five minutes of waking up each morning, and that most teens send at least one hundred text messages per day. Most alarming to me is Turkle’s citing of another scientific finding: That over the past 20 years our society has seen a 40% decline (most of it occurring over the past decade) in indicators of empathy in people, and that researchers are linking this…