Each day, we are being surrounded by screens. If we work in an office, we are spending at least 8 hours a day staring at the computer. Plus, there are TV sets in almost every household and huge, bright screens in shop windows… From time to time, we can hear that some of those screens may be harmful to our health. The one that seems to be the most dangerous, is the most inconspicuous one, at the same time. It’s the smartphone, a headhunter’s best friend that sometimes can become the worst enemy…
Headhunter, commuter, family man…
No one can argue with the fact that smartphones were meant to make our lives easier. And they certainly do, even if we don’t use them that immensely, like every headhunter does. After the final transformation so far, the phone set has become a compact and handy communication mobile tool. The one we can take with us everywhere and do virtually anything on it.
Quite literally. The small luminous screen is usually the first thing we see in the morning. And the last one before falling asleep. Some people even check the phone at night. Many of us often do not engage completely but rather look at the phone and browse the internet sites. Or check if we’ve got a text message, or a notification, from a social networking site.
But we also don’t engage to the full in activities using a smartphone interrupts. And it’s important as these are plenty. We don’t only use it to take a break from work or see what’s new on the Internet. We do so when meeting friends, crossing the street, commuting, or, horrendously, driving a car. Smartphones are also with us in the queue to the doctor and during a family dinner. And even in the toilet, or on a date…
Unfortunately, headhunter may get addicted to those less necessary functions smartphones offer, as well. Especially since there are some good professional reasons to use mobile phones, and always stay in touch. Apart from headhunting, smartphones are helpful in many other HR areas, like the Executive Search on the IT/Telco market. They’re also necessary within Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Market Mapping, Interim Recruitment, or the Employer Branding. They don’t have to concern IT Recruitment, but HR people know best it’s crucial to talk to programmers right.
Why smartphones are so captivating?
Why modern mobile phones are so hard to resist? Science has the answer. When we use smartphones, and especially when we get a notification, our brain triggers a dopamine release. And this compound is responsible for the so-called reward system. To put it simply, it affects our well-being, motivation, and energy level.
Increased production of dopamine induces the feeling of excitement, satisfaction, or even euphoria. It’s the same substance our brain feeds us with during such addictive activities, as smoking, drinking alcohol, or gambling. All these things let us feel good and forget about the problems of everyday life. And this makes us reach for them even more.
Another factor that influences our smartphone addiction is the phenomenon called FOMO, which stands for “fear of missing out“. In general, this is an irrational fear that we’re going to miss an event or a piece of information. However, we are not even able to accurately determine what it might be. We’re simply afraid that during the time away from the phone, something will happen and we’ll not witness it.
In the world of infotainment, it’s difficult to be off even for a while. Every piece of information seems to be important, but is soon replaced by another one, more “hot“ or “breaking“. Besides, if you stay updated, you have something to talk about with your friends and colleagues. You just need to check your phone on and on – that’s the only way to deal with FOMO.
We must also mention the smartphone applications and games, created to make us use them as long as possible. To design them, their creators implement the rules of behavioral psychology. Thanks to that some people use certain applications daily and feel they simply cannot live without them.
Headhunter: the problematic smartphone addiction
Smartphone addiction is not so trivial as we would like to think. It can lead to serious problems with emotions, concentration, poorer quality of work, and arguments with relatives, for instance. Apart from behavior changes, it can make it difficult for information to travel between nerve cells in the brain. Simply put, using smartphones slowly dumbs us down.
But even if we are aware we have a problem, getting rid of the addiction is very hard. For some, the dependence is so strong they can’t imagine leaving the house without a phone for 5 minutes. They get very angry when they cannot find cell range or WiFi. And the low battery or the inability to charge it make them start to panic. Annoyance, irritability, depression, and anxiety are typical symptoms of smartphone addiction.
It is particularly dangerous for young people. It’s them who have growing pains, problems with identity, and establishing deeper relations in the real world. That’s why they turn to Facebook or Instagram to deal with their problems. Unfortunately, researches suggest the more time a person spends on social media, the higher the risk of depression.
Can we do something about it?
Let’s be honest, it’s impossible to get rid of smartphones completely these days, and not only for a headhunter. And why should we, after all? What we can do is try to help ourselves and keep ourselves safe. How? One solution is installing an application that measures how many times we have unlocked the phone. It also shows how much time we spent on it, which may be quite shocking for many. Such applications usually have built-in notifications, alerting you when your level of phone usage becomes disturbing. They may even disable your access to some functions.
But it would be best to get rid of the time-consuming applications on your own. And turn off notifications so that you would be able to decide when to check them. You should also invest in a traditional alarm clock and do not leave the smartphone next to your bed. Some even suggest leaving the phone for the night in a completely different room than your bedroom.
This may seem unreasonable and unworkable, but in fact, is very beneficial. Thanks to this move you’ll get rid of the automatic reaction of reaching for the phone on and on. Or at least right after waking up. You’ll also be able to improve the quality of your sleep, relaxing beforehand, e.g. reading a book.