Technology addiction triggers akrasia, a kind of procrastination in which people choose to dwell on relatively meaningless activities instead of tackling important responsibilities, according to a Turkish social media specialist.
Akrasia is described as a lack of self-control or the state of acting against one's better judgment. The concept was first used by Aristotle and Socrates, two classic ancient Greek philosophers.
“Instead of fulfilling an important responsibility, akrasia is delaying the work to be done and wasting time with more meaningless and enjoyable subjects,” Deniz Unay told Anadolu Agency.
Unay, an Istanbul-based author and speaker on science and technology, said akrasia develops through the loss of self-control and engaging in unnecessary behavior against your better instincts.
Underlining that technology addiction has increased the “akrasia disease” even more, he said people spend more time watching videos, playing games, or doing other things on their devices.
Tech addicts could even postpone basic needs such as eating, going to the bathroom, and sleeping, he added.
He went on to say that procrastination is not a problem of laziness – on the contrary, hardworking and disciplined people are also prone to the akrasia effect.
“When we look at the reasons for procrastination, sometimes we come across things that seem boring and are done constantly, such as washing the dishes, or cleaning up a dirty place,” he said.
- Emotion regulation problem
Stressing that procrastination is not a time management problem but an emotion regulation problem, he said depression, anxiety and burnout trigger procrastination.
“Procrastination may cause economic losses as well as chronic stress, psychological problems, anxiety, malnutrition, and sleep problems, and as a result, a vicious circle that leads to adverse effects on cardiovascular health,” he said.
To reduce or get rid of akrasia, Unay urged people to face their existing problem and work to control their emotions.
He advised people to turn off all notifications from games and apps on their phones except the necessary ones so they could get rid of the tempting and triggering effect of the notifications.
“Be sure to delete the games and apps you don't use, because even if you don't use them, the notifications and reminders from them are enough to keep you on the phone more,” he said.
You can limit your tech use with time-limiting apps, which help plan how much time a person spends on the phone, he said. He also recommended keeping phones away from the bedroom or dinner table.
“When you made the necessary limitations and reduce your daily use up to three or four hours, you can spend your remaining time taking care of your responsibilities in order of priority and by adopting a hobby in your spare time," he added.