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I am curious..

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by atticus, May 17, 2021.

  1. atticus

    atticus Member

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    does anyone else find themselves stimming with their smartphone? I am constantly on the dang thing and always finding reasons to stay on it longer. it really isn't healthy, I know, so I want to find a way to replace that. has anyone else struggled with this?

    edit to add: I would really like to hear from people who have used their phone as a self-stimulating behavior to regulate emotions, especially if (and how) they overcame it. I'm not trying to replace an addiction, or a hobby. thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You and nearly everyone else. Nothing like watching someone go through a sidewalk amidst heavy car traffic while they bury their face in their smartphone. :rolleyes:

    Me? I still have managed to avoid owning one. If I must bury myself in a computer I'd prefer for it to be the one in my home. But even that may change if the government forces us to have one just to produce proof of being vaccinated.
     
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  3. atticus

    atticus Member

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    yikes, I definitely don't use my phone near traffic or in other situations that require my attention for safety. it's just become a stim when I am bored, anxious, in a new place, what have you. but unfortunately, not owning a cell phone is not a possibility for me. that's why I made this post, in hopes that perhaps someone has experienced a similar struggle.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you're in good company. Where an entire generation wouldn't know how to live without a cellphone.

    That's the thing though, I grew up without any real high technology from a consumer standpoint. I wasn't an adult until personal computers entered the market.
     
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  5. atticus

    atticus Member

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    while I appreciate your positivity, I don't really care if I'm in good company, or if other people do what I do. I want to make it stop. I do not want to justify it. i *need* to find a way to stop using it as a stim.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You might look into other forms of technology that the masses have become obsessive about. Like how to wean one's self off video games...or even online forums. I'd think they all amount to the same dynamic- an obsession or perceived psychological addiction that becomes unwanted for whatever reason.

    Oddly enough the pandemic seems to have cut my time online in half. I find myself doing other things more frequently. Even chores. Go figure.

    Personally I'd think the most common denominator in such things is mostly just willpower alone. At least in such instances you aren't dealing with an addictive substance per se to compound matters.
     
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  7. atticus

    atticus Member

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    thank you, but I don't think I am going to find the answer I need from other forums. hence my post here.
     
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  8. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If I am trying to lessen or give up something, I usually need to find an alternative that has some of the same effects, but is more benign. When I gave up smoking, I took up eating small oranges. When I lessened my alcohol intake, I changed to ginger beer, etc. Something similar that isn't problematic. Could you do crosswords or suduko instead? It's a transitional object, I guess. It would need to be something you like.
     
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  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't use them myself. I never took to cell phones either. I don't like being contacted at all times of day. I'll communicate when I am in the mindset to. That said I am on my computer many hours a day. Basically whenever I am not doing anything else. I use it to game (my main distraction activity atm) read and research various topics that interest me and watch films and such. But I kind of have a structure a set pattern to when I am going to do chores, get my exercise, and/or socialize and then what remains is computer time and I do not feel guilty about it.

    I also want to point out what you describe is certainly endemic to all people NT and ASD. I see most all the NT's in my family and friends on their smart phones many hours a day and whenever they get a chance even when doing something.

    I think it is mainly just a common addicting past time, a fixture of these times, and not trully a problem unless it is preventing you from doing things you need to do (work/chores, etc) or things you probably should be doing such as getting some exercise or social time in. Too much of one thing tends to not be good. A balance of things with variety is better I think.

    I had extablished other pastimes/hobbies before smartphones/computers came out and do sometimes go back to them for a change. Sometimes I have to prompt myself with some determination to brake the computer cycle, but I can.

    I do wonder about people who came up with these devices already there. I wonder what other pastimes it might prevent them from even starting. So that is my only suggestion: to consider having some other activity and doing some rotation.

    'A change is as good as a rest'. I heard that on Shining Time Station. I forget which engine said it. It might have been Percy. ;D
     
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  10. atticus

    atticus Member

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    well, therein lies the problem. the replacement would have to be something that doesn't take as much attention as the phone does, if that makes any sense. I've tried using fidget cubes (and fidget hexagons, and fidget controllers, and fidget spinners, and squishies, etc etc etc) and nothing really seems to calm me like my phone does. I just had hope that there was someone somewhere on this website that has had a habit of using their phone as a stim in the past and has successfully replaced it with something that doesn't demand an equal (or higher) amount of focus and attention.
     
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  11. atticus

    atticus Member

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    yeah, it is not at all an addiction, and does not interfere with responsibilities. nor is it a hobby or something to fill my time. it is literally a stim to help me deal with my emotions/state of mind.

    any tips on emotional regulation, then?
     
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  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I use an app called Forest to regulate my phone time from time to time, because if I don’t, I’m just on the thing the entire time. Its basically a mini game where you set an amount of time you don’t want to use your phone to focus on something else, and if you successfully leave your phone alone, you are rewarded with a tree in a virtual forest. You also earn virtual coins by doing so, which you can in turn use to plant real trees. I think that’s cute.

    Anyway, I use the app when I want to get some undistracted work done or need to get on with some cleaning and the idea of not wanting to kill a virtual tree somehow helps me put my phone back down. And I do feel accomplished when I see how much time I’ve spent without my phone/ how many trees I’ve planted during a day.

    Alternative activities for me to regulate my emotions are cooking, baking, singing, dancing, gaming and tending to my houseplants.
     
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  13. atticus

    atticus Member

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    that's a pretty cool sounding app! that could definitely help keep me off of it..I do a lot of the things you listed as well, but I know a lot of those are going to be hard to do when in public. is there anything you typically do when out in public (or new places, etc) and have to regulate to avoid facing the potential of having a public meltdown?
     
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  14. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Tom ... Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said, ‘A change of work is the best rest’ in The Sign of Four. People with that much energy trouble me.
     
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Can't say I've been able to recall anyone considering merely holding a cellphone as a stim. Though I could see so many people nodding that it could be.

    Just out of curiosity, do you think anything in the equation would change if you continued to hold it, but not have it powered on? Where a reduction of interactivity might eventually diminish the need to hold onto it. Perhaps the one factor that really differentiates it from more benign stimming devices that you listed.
     
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  16. atticus

    atticus Member

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    I'm sorry, I'm having trouble understanding how you came to the conclusion that holding my phone is what I'm talking about?? using my smartphone is the trouble. as I stated in the original post, I am always on it and finding other excuses to be on it longer. if it was as simple as just holding something, that's an easy fix and I wouldn't be wasting my time here. using my cell phone is how I regulate my emotions. not holding It - using it. and if I try to just delete the app I spend the most time on, I end up just replacing the deleted app with another app.

    please, unless you have tips for me on how to regulate my emotions, there is no reason for you to continue responding.
     
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    You mentioned the use of spinners, which ultimately did not work in comparison. While they didn't work you left me with an impression that this was something potentially tactile in nature as many stims- and cellphones can be. That's all. No worries, I'm done here.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  18. atticus

    atticus Member

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    yes, I mentioned that to deter further suggestions to use items that keep my hands busy, and made it very clear that those types of stims do nothing to replace the phone usage. thanks.
     
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  19. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    What you're saying is not that you need something to twiddle.

    You're saying you seek stimulation through the use of the phone
    which is a computer/internet connection.

    What kinds of aps do you tend to use?
     
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  20. atticus

    atticus Member

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    no. what I am saying is that i require something that can give me mental stimulation in order to assist me in regulating my emotions while in public spaces, without sacrificing the amount of attention given to those around me. or, as an alternative, general tips on regulating emotions.
     
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