I was submerged in the cozy haze of smartphone addiction, and it’s hard to say how it differed from substance abuse. “Comfort kills, discomfort creates,” wrote Jean Cocteau in his personal account of opium detoxication.
So, like someone trying to wean himself off a substance, I started experimenting with discomfort. That’s when I lost the Facebook and Twitter apps, which were eating up most of my screen time. I figured that out from battery use statistics. At first, I felt such acute deprivation that I had to open Facebook and Twitter in a browser. That was less convenient, and my phone use dropped a little, but I wasn’t able to completely swear off Facebook for a few more weeks. FOMO — the fear of missing out — ruined several mornings; I reverted to peeking for a couple of days, then forced myself to stop.
Comparing smartphone addiction with opiom addiction is pretty harsh, but it shows how much smartphones and the fear of missing out can affect how a person relates to their smartphone.
I’ve always been a big proponent of turning off notifications.