​Memoirs of an ADHD Mom

Phone AddictionKate is a mom with ADHD.  She also has a child with ADHD. Each Sunday she shares her life experiences with us on Facebook.  Be sure to visit our Facebook page every Sunday to read her funny and heartfelt stories.  You just may be able to relate at times...

Phone addiction 

Who knew that the simple act of losing my phone for less than 24 hours would teach me such a big life lesson?

I lost my phone. I searched everywhere for it. I looked under all my paperwork, tore through my car, searched in all of my kid's rooms, emptied my purse 20 times, I even looked in the fridge (things sometimes end up inexplicably in the fridge)!

As I searched I felt frantic, my heart rate increased, I was anxious, I became short with my children. As the day progressed without my phone, I felt a sense of loss, not knowing what to do with my time, and I hate to admit it, but some sadness.

What is going on with me? I am classic ADHD. I lose things all the time - it's one of the things I do best. Then why am I having these feelings? I misplaced my phone - not one of my children!

So I begin to reflect on this. If I am having these feelings, it means I have some kind of emotional connection to my phone. Then I think of all the time I spend on my phone. It is an incredible realization. I am NEVER without it - hence my feeling of "loss".

Ok. Time for a reality check. I spend way too much time on my phone. It is my ultimate source of distraction, entertainment, and validation. You know that happy feeling you get when a funny text comes in from a friend, someone likes your post, or retweets your thought of the day? Without my phone, I miss that.

Something is truly wrong with me. I can even think of times when my daughter has tried to talk to me while I am checking something on my phone. I hear nothing she says - I just see her walk away with that disappointed look on her face. I never really thought about this, but I have checked out of life at times for my phone addiction.

I started to look up information on this and it is actually a "thing". There is a phone addiction. Studies have shown that checking your smartphone can increase the dopamine levels in your brain! This means when I see that comment someone made on my Facebook post, the pleasure center of my brain is activated - making me come back for more!

So many people deal with this. Not just me. But for people with ADHD and need for stimulation, distraction, and our inability to control our impulsivity - this addiction can be much worse.

As I was searching the internet, I came across a stat that said the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes. I can then surmise that for me, it is probably every 6-8 minutes. Ugh. What am I missing then in my ACTUAL life due to this constant connection to my phone? I can only imagine. This is not good. I am probably missing meaningful conversations with my children, beautiful moments happening in my environment, and the opportunity to connect with that random person who may be standing right next to me.

I found my phone. It was in the laundry basket - because that makes sense! But I have a new mission. I am going to work on limiting my time on my phone. I have started to delete many of my apps that needlessly suck time out of my day. I have installed an app that prohibits texting while driving. And I am not checking my phone at all after 9:30 PM (if all of my children are safe at home).

Have any of you experienced this? I gotta tell you this has been a big wake up call. No pun intended. Who knew the simple act of losing my phone could teach me so much?