Leadership Crack Head: Addicted to Your Smartphone?

Addicted to Smartphone

Why Are We So Addicted To Our Phones? 

I see so many people who are seemingly addicted to their smartphones! It truly makes me wonder some things

  • I wonder what the average daily count is of people checking during dinner, while driving, in a meeting, on the phone with someone else?
  • Ever meet someone who is texting while engaging in a conversation with you, and then letting you know that they are listening?
  • Is our work really that important, that we need to stop being present in the moment and get back to people every 2 seconds?
  • What is driving this addiction and how might is be negatively affecting us?

Searching for Reason

I have been trying to understand the reason why people are so “distracted” by their devices. In all honesty, I must admit that I am addicted to the prospective thrill of seeing a new exciting email message arrive.

And then I become disappointed when the new message on my device is only another Living Social coupon…

I also feel the need to get back to people so quickly these days. I feel that if I don’t check every 2 seconds that I may risk not giving “excellent customer service.”

Surely I can’t be connecting to my kids, friends, employees, family AND living in the moment while constantly looking at my phone waiting for the next great thing to show up.

This bothered me very much. So whenever I could, I sought out the reason(s) why people are so seemingly addicted to their phones. And then one day I came across something.

I now think I might finally understand the reason…


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Understanding Power vs. Force

During a meeting with my business coach, she shared David Hawkins – Power vs. Force chart. Mr. Hawkins describes this chart as the hidden determinants of human behavior.

I went digging for something on this chart that could shed some light on why millions of us are in a romantic relationship with our phone. Out of 17 levels, scoring 20-1000, lowest to highest respectively, I found the word DESIRE!!

Click on the chart below for a full explanation.

Power vs Force Chart

Yes, this makes sense; the desire for reward, accomplishment, a new client, to be praised for great service, all of these things that could be present in an email, text or voice mail. Then I realized, according to this chart “Desire” is only 6 out of 17, with a score of 125.

But wait, isn’t it good to desire things, to have goals and wants? Then I kept reading, and understood the dichotomy.

Understanding Desire and Priorities

According to Dr. Hawkins, “Desire is also the level of addiction, wherein it becomes a craving more important than life itself.”  This craving can then lead to frustration when you don’t get the response that you want.

Ahh- hence the disappointment in the Living Social coupon!

The egotistical answer sitting in front of me did strike me hard for a second.

Then I got over myself and looked at the lesson in all of this:

The bottom line is that nothing is more important to me then my family, friends and vision to help others. So when I’m focused on my priorities, I will make a promise to be fully present on those things and not my phone!

The world (and the coupon) can surely wait as I check my phone periodically and not constantly.

Are you addicted to your phone? Are some of your priorities out of line with your top values? What are ways you balance being present with the task at hand, while knowing their might be important messages waiting for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Val Ries, RN, MBA, CPC
Val Ries RN, MBA, CPC is CEO of the Ries Company
She helps leaders RECHARGE so they have the strength to impact the world
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Image Sources: pplware.sapo.pt

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