Amidst our stressful daily routines, we fling ourselves on the bed every night and tell ourselves a lie, “Only five more minutes!”. The next thing you know, the clock strikes 2 am and you’re stuck in the endless cycle of digital addiction. Gone are those days where the first ray of sunlight over the horizon breaks our sleep. We begin our day by checking our notifications and end our day by doing the exact same thing. Worst part, many of us do not apprehend that we are constantly stuck inside a virtual world.
Social media has triumphantly managed to hook up a whole generation who feel F.O.M.O. if they do not browse their feed every few minutes. “You’re all caught up” is a sign of momentary gratification which we all yearn for, but we are constantly showered with more content.
According to a study, internet addiction in western cultures affects up to 8.2% of the population. It is characterized by the hours spent in non-work technology-related computer/internet/video game activities. This number is extremely prominent in the youth, i.e. people aged 16-25 and leads to a negative influence on their productivity.
Like any other addiction, people have developed a dependency. According to a study by IJME, 58% of users could not manage without their smartphone even for a day. 9% of the respondents feel mentally stressed when they lose their mobile phone, run out of battery, or credit or have no network coverage. This form of attachment to the digital world is dangerous.
A renowned Neuroscientist, Dr Mike Brooke conducted an interesting research which concluded that the sounds of our smartphones elicit automatic and reflexive responses from us. Therefore, people who are addicted to technology have the tendency to check their phones without any reason. Because of this, they will keep turning the screen on out of boredom or habit. According to a study by Patricia Greenfield, UCLA distinguished professor of psychology, critical thinking skills and analysis declines by 17% with overuse of the internet.
It is high time that we open our eyes and see the reality of the virtual situation. With the aim to help students stay off their phones, Lock&Stock was launched by Craig Fernandes in 2017. It is a mobile application that rewards students for locking their phones and in exchange they are rewarded with keys which can be used to redeem discounts at a variety of outlets like cinemas, restaurants etc. Not just this, Lock&Stock also helps students get internships and jobs from various companies looking to hire young talent! No, it does not end here. Students also have the opportunity to secure university scholarships from well known institutions in the UAE.
Sounds interesting right?