Are you Battling Smartphone Addiction?

How often do you look at your smartphone during the course of the day? We’ll bet that you might well be very surprised to learn the actual number. While our phones are wonderful communication devices and very convenient to have with us (how many times have you looked something up today?), they can also take up a tremendous part of our day.

In many cases, we don’t even realize just how much. When was the last time you saw an alert and went to investigate, only to get distracted by something else? Next thing you know, several minutes have gone by and you haven’t even addressed the thing the alert was about!

It’s not entirely your fault. Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are addictive by design. The possibility of reward (a positive comment about you, someone liking your post, your post getting shared by someone else, etc) can lead us to constantly head back hoping for that positive feeling. The fact that it only happens about every 50 times does not stop people from continuing to do it. Some have compared this addiction to the plight that gamblers find themselves in. The stakes may not seem as high, but they are still significant.

While too much Facebook use has been linked to depression, the physical symptoms of smartphone addiction usually don’t extend beyond thumb and neck pain. That can make it less of a priority for people and something they are more likely to just ignore in favor of “real problems.”

However, if your phone use is affecting your ability to get work done, compromising the time you spend with friends and family, and even threatening your safety (a distressing number of people are either in car accidents or mowed down by vehicles while looking at their phones), it is actually a major issue.

The Real Reasons That People Love Winter

What every Monday morning in February feels like

I’m sure you know at least one of them: those annoyingly happy people who gush endlessly when the first snowflakes appear. They love winter and want you to know it. For those of us who become more and more depressed as the mercury drops, this behavior is very hard to fathom. Sure, I can understand hockey players and skiers liking this time of year, but just loving winter in general? It just does not compute.

Here are the real reasons why I think some people claim that they love the six months of ice and snow:

They Like Huddling Inside

Sure, people say they love winter, but they also go on about how cozy it is to sit inside by a warm fire and hibernate. If winter is so great, why are you spending so much time inside? Oh, I know: because it’s bloody freezing out there!

An Excuse to Be Alone

See They Like Huddling Inside

Winter = An Excuse to Slack

How many times have you heard, “I was going to head to the gym today, but the roads were just too slippery.” Or “It’s a Snow Day and no school, so I’m going back to bed.” If they are feeling especially lazy and don’t want to do anything outside their home, winter provides a convenient excuse that is tough to argue with.

OK, yes, I’m being silly and sarcastic. I will admit that outside of the holiday shopping period, I do actually prefer the slower pace one typically encounters during the winter. And yes, a Christmas get together with family and friends can indeed be lovely. Christmas mornings with your children can also provide the sort of memories that bring a smile to your face.

All of that said, the best Christmas present for me is the one that always arrives three months late: spring.