Human-Phone Bond

Behind Your Resistance to Silencing Your Phone

Have you ever stopped to think about why you’re so attached to living a life dictated by your phone’s tones and vibrations beyond the obvious?

Do you know what fuels your resistance to such an easily achievable destressor as shutting down our phone’s tones?

Let me tell ya’…a beep ain’t just a beep.

There’s more to the story beyond having a “bad habit” of living a life that tolerates constant interruption and attentional demands from digital reminders. Let’s look behind the scenes…

The Beeping Truth

An awareness of what truly attaches you to your tones can help transform mindless, self-punishing habits into a freeing, conscious choice to be good to yourself in the simplest way I can think of within your digital world. 

What’s the solution? Turn off your tones and vibrations for short periods of time if you have a beeping addiction.

When I shut off the sound on my phone, I feel peaceful and more in control of life. The incoming messages can’t steal my attention. So much of life is out of our control and decided for us. Obligations. Responsibilities. The amount of texts we receive.

Let this be one area where you can feel like you’re in the driver’s seat of your life.

How do we begin to make a tiny shift in such a deeply engrained habit? It all starts with understanding what motivates us to stay so connected to our tones and vibrations.

Here are 7 reasons why we choose to live a life dictated by beeps:

1. We live on auto-pilot. This is what we know and it’s only getting easier to rely on our devices to quarterback everything. Technology is getter better and better at taking over responsibilities. I’m waiting for an app that can scratch my head when I’m perplexed so I don’t have to use my arm.

2. Why question a habit that is so easily justified? A cost-benefit analysis will be benefit heavy…unless you assign weights to reflect how each reason affects happiness.

3. Our memory is getting worse because of our growing reliance upon our phones to serve as our memory. We need to be reminded or else we’ll forget.

(This brings me to the deeper psychological reasons…)

4. In moments when we feel alone, unacknowledged or unimportant, the beep serves as a brief reminder that we matter to someone. Receiving a tone clearly offers us momentary gratification, especially when we’re expecting the beep from someone who is paying attention to us.

5. Beeps bring tiny bits of certainty to uncertain moments. Wshewww, I got it. I don’t have to wait anymore. Waiting for the beep to arrive and constant checking gives us something to do when we don’t want to be with our own thoughts. That sudden tone is like our visceral reaction to the arrival of an anticipated Amazon package. We bask in that sweet microsecond of anticipating what’s arrived.

6. Tones help us to justify a life of over-multitasking. Instead of choosing to finish one task, we rely on tones to signal that it’s time to pause and switch. We let sounds from the outside world dictate what we should do.

7. Waiting for the tone gives us something to think about and look forward to. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of a text from a witty friend? Who needs to be with his own thoughts anymore when you can just juggle multiple texting conversations?

Greg Kushnick, Psy.D. on Instagram
Greg Kushnick, Psy.D.
Dr. Greg Kushnick is Techealthiest's founder and blogger. He works as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan. On a broader scale, he is dedicated to helping the world adjust to (and eventually thrive with) new and unfamiliar lifestyle technology. Dr. Greg's inner blogging machine is fueled by his fascination with how personal technology impacts the way people think, feel and act. He thrives on the challenge of applying interpersonal dynamics to the human-gadget relationship and presenting his ideas to readers in a helpful way. He considers himself a family man and an explorer of city culture.
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