You May Be Addicted To Your Smartphone If…
Smartphone addiction might sound like a timely joke, but it is a condition that is becoming more widely recognized as smartphones have become an expected and comforting part of daily life. About 36 percent of phones produced worldwide are smartphones, and according to the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of Americans own and use a smartphone on a regular basis.
With their availability and access to constant entertainment and distraction, it is no wonder that more and more people are dealing with the effects of smartphone addiction.
Smartphones as Best Friends
Many consumers feel as if their smartphones are an extension of themselves or, at the very least, a best friend. The smartphone travels wherever they do, including the shower. In fact, about 10% of smartphone users have admitted to having used their smartphones in intimate situations.
It can be incredibly stressful for smartphone users when they don’t use their phone for even short amount of times. People feel like they are missing out on all the fun, like when kids fight going to bed at a certain time. Nomophobia is the official term that describes the fear of being without a mobile phone. The actual loss of a phone produces the following emotional reactions and can be a sign of smartphone addiction:
- Physical Ilnessl
Signs of Smartphone Addiction
Feeling disturbed from not being able to find or use a smartphone accompanies a host of additional signs of smartphone addiction. In fact, As many as 29 percent of smartphone users feel as if they cannot function without their phones. Smartphone addiction can be identified using these criteria:
- Feeling worried when the phone is not nearby.
- Looking at the smartphone several times each hour, equal to about 150 times when users are awake.
- A compulsion to check the phone during mealtimes, church, class, and while driving.
- Unable to track with a project or conversation for more than a few minutes without needing to check the phone.
- Feeling a cell phone vibration that does not exist
Recovering from Smartphone Addiction
As many as 25 percent of smartphone users admit to not being able to remember the last time they went a significant amount of time without their cell phones. Here are several practical ways to prevent or combat the effects of smartphone addiction:
- Download an app that shuts the phone off during driving.
- Avoid using the phone for routines when going to bed or getting up in the morning.
- Stop using the smartphone for an hour before bedtime.
- Turn the phone off when at meals or with friends.
- Create a special place in the home where no cell phones are allowed.
- Take pictures but do not post them on any social media outlets.
- Leave the phone at home. And out of the bathroom.
And, of course, there is the Smartphone Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept that there are texts I cannot type
Courage to have face to face conversations with people again
And the wisdom to know that there is life without a smartphone.
About Our Guest Author:
Amy Williams is a journalist and mother of two in California. While technology offers many new and exciting opportunities to adults and teens alike, Amy hopes that widespread technology education will help users of new and emerging technologies be educated and informed. You can follow her on Twitter.