“What we find is the typical person checks their phone every 15 minutes or less and half of the time they check their phone there is no alert, no notification. It’s coming from inside their head telling them, 'Gee, I haven’t checked Facebook in a while. I haven’t checked on this Twitter feed for a while. I wonder if somebody commented on my Instagram post.” That then generates cortisol (stress hormone) and it starts to make you anxious. And eventually your goal is to get rid of that anxiety so you check in.' Psychologist Larry Rosen of California State University, Dominguez Hills
If my phone was in my pocket, I felt myself needlessly grabbing for it. This happened even though half of the time my phone was on airplane mode. I did it out of habit, not necessity. Maybe if I removed the distraction it would change my habit. Indeed. Buried in my backpack, I felt no need to check. Out of sight out of mind. When the thought of checking in did arrive, I had to consciously pause and think: is this necessary? Majority of the time it was not. My brain was conditioned, but I broke the cycle- even if this habit is slowly creeping back in now that I am out of the woods. Resist, I tell myself, and stay mindful of your actions.