Going online, checking social networks or Whatsapp and playing with your mobile or tablet regularly on holidays stops you from disconnecting from daily habits and obligations and recharging your batteries. Psychologists believe the best solution for this is to step away from technology completely when on vacation.
A study carried out by the OCU (Spanish Consumers’ and Users’ Organisation) warns that 25% of Spanish people are addicted to their mobile phones. According to addictions expert, Miguel Perelló, having access to devices, high-speed connections, experiences that arise from using them, the temporary escape from tension and stress and the social status they symbolise are all making new technologies “the most addictive drug”.
Speaking to the Spanish news agency EFE, the clinical psychologist says addictions to mobile devices are characterised by “compulsive behaviour”, and the “anxiety caused when you can’t access them”, and in some case addicts “become irritable with outbursts of anger and even violence”.
For this type of patient, Perelló recommends stricter therapies with “total disconnection or limited or controlled access”, although, in general, he suggests “having your mobile in a drawer and only checking it in the morning, at lunchtime, and again at night, just like taking a pill”.
“Holidays are for disconnecting from daily obligations, responsibilities and habits, and these also include new technologies”, says the specialist, who also recommends “leaving your mobile or tablet at home” when you go to the beach or the mountains.
For those who, without becoming addicted, have to manage the use of technologies at work, he recommends “taking breaks and even turning off your mobile when you finish work for the day”.
“We have to know how to manage the use of technology in positions of responsibility as it can cause stress and quickly turn into a problem,”
As an aid in helping to switch off, Perelló recommends yoga or meditation as a great way to “become more aware of the moment and the present” and “focus on what’s around you and why you find new technology so tempting”.