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All Players Have Symptoms of 'Phonomaladritis'

Richard Rodriguez Phone Marydeciccogetty
(Photo by Mary DeCicco/Getty Images)

We complain about it and see it every day in others and we have become immune to how much, we ourselves, have fallen prey to the disease.

We justify the ailment as part of the modern world and brush it off as a by-product of the busy times we live in.

I present to you Phonomaladritis, the lingering social and medical sickness of extended phone dependency.

Our cell phones give us the best and worst parts of each day.  We justify our addiction by the need to be connected with our loved ones and stay up to date with work. If we had the discipline to use our phone for just those reasons, we would all be healthier and happier.

However, we don't. The chemical dependency (the dopamine drips as we scroll social media) and emotional  pressure to keep up with our pseudo-friends on social media is why Phonomaladritis has become an epidemic in today's world. Make no mistake about it, this is a disease both players and coaches battle daily. Let's review the symptoms:

  • Inability to amuse or entertain yourself in the real world.
  • Bored within five minutes without a notification or text message alert.
  • Poor posture and minimal eye contact with other human beings.
  • Constant concern with other people's opinions on social media and in life.
  • Belief system and sources of knowledge all come from YouTube and Google.
  • Daily need to share insignificant news and activities with the world.
  • Fear of sitting quietly in public or outside without immersed in a screen.
  • Thinking that the whole world cares about your daily life.
  • Conversation skills that fall way below average for someone your age.
  • Slight panic attacks when you misplace your phone or the battery dies.
  • Doubling the time it takes to complete homework assignments or work projects because of constant phone breaks.

No one is asking you to ditch your phone but these slight changes in habits may go a long way in reconnecting you with yourself and others.

There's a good chance you will have vision problems in life due to the slammed, crammed and jammed visual habits of excessive screen time. Go out and play or read a real book.

Learn to eat again without scrolling through your phone and engage in real conversation with those around you.

Commit to learning more about life by interacting in real time with others.

Call your loved ones before it's too late to even text them.

Believe that half of what you read and watch on social media is accurate.

The only opinion that matters in your life is your own. Eliminate the need to glorify and show others how great your life is through posts.

Do you want to sit on certain pitches and hunt fastballs and predict where breaking balls will end up? News flash, by taking your eyes off your screen you can improve your vision to be able to track pitches.

If you are going to improve controlling the runway (the space between the mound and home plate), your eyes need to be outside and your space neurons need practice firing in true 3-D space. Decreasing the time spent looking at your phone can only help. The great ones play in the present. Exposing your visual system (the brain is part of our visual processing) to real space during practice is the best way to retain memory and coding of past stimuli. Those with great vision in sports focus on the space around the ball and surrounding areas more than the ball or fixed objects themselves.

Get crazy and see if you can go half a day, or a few hours, of being unplugged from your phone.  We all have 1,440 minutes a day to work, play, learn and cherish the world.

Remember, don't let Phonomaladritis hold you back from being your best version of you. If you are going to control space and time in games, concentrate on the outside world more often during the day.

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