What is Cell Phone addiction?
While a smartphone, tablet, or a computer can be hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with work, school, and relationships. When you spend more time on social media or playing games then you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking text, email, or apps – even when he has negative consequences in your life – it may be time to reassess your technology use.
Smartphone addiction, sometimes known as “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone), Is often fueled by on Internet overuse problem or Internet addiction disorder. After all, it’s really the phone or tablet itself that creates the compulsion, but rather the games, apps, and the online world it connects us to. Source
Has Your Smartphone Replaced Your Brain?
America is experiencing information overload more than ever before and it looks like it’ll only increase. With increased knowledge, increased responsibility. Technology has bloomed over the centuries but we’re not here to say that technology itself is a bad thing. You may have even been able to access this article through your phone, or through a shared link. Technology is very helpful and benefit our lives. It is a part of our jobs, social network, emergencies, finding useful information. But, and this is a big but – Just as we can become addicted to alcohol, drugs, and other things, we can become addicted to our screens.
Are you addicted?
Addiction works on dopamine levels. It’s what caused us to see our pleasurable experiences, and it encourages us to keep seeking pleasure once we receive the reward. And so we find ourselves in a cycle of seek and reward. This cycle is common in our daily lives and is an important function of nature, such as the basic necessities of life and companionship. But what about in the case of smartphones?
The reason why it’s easier to become addicted to technology than it is to other things is because we never truly become full as we do when we eat a meal. This causes less satisfaction, and a desire to seek out more and become stronger.
Of course, none of us like to think we’re addicted to our phones. We reason that we need our smart phone because this email, that text, or that viral video is important. That is true some of the time, but there are a few tell-tale signs of when we are in control of our phone use, and when it is in control of us.
Cell Phone Addictions Involve:
Sleep disturbances and insomnia caused by heavy phone usage.
Reliance on the phone to experience satisfaction and relaxation.
Feelings of anxiety or irritability when separated from the phone or when faced by the inability to use it (for example, when you realize your phone is low on battery).
Feelings of loneliness or switch the mood changes when you are on able to send messages or receive immediate responses.
Continue and conscious phone use in dangerous situations, such as while driving, and loss of interest in other activities.
Preference of using the phone instead of personal interaction. Source
Social Media Apps Are Designed to Hook You
Do you find yourself mindlessly reaching for your phone? Or refreshing your social media feeds, even when you just check them minutes ago? Don’t beat yourself up about your lack of willpower. The truth is, nearly every app on your phone has been expertly engineered to produce those very responses by designers skilled in manipulating brain chemistry to elicit addictive behaviors.
Case in point; “Instagram, has created code that deliberately holds back on showing users new ‘likes’ so that it can deliver a bunch of them in a sudden rush at the most effective moment possible – meaning the moment at which the new likes will discourage you from closing the app.” -CatherinePrice (How To Break Up With Your Phone).
Phubbing Is A Thing
You know that annoying habit your friend has of occasionally checking texts while you’re talking? Well, it’s so common, there is now an active name for it: Phubbing, as in phone-snubbing. You’d never do that, right?!
Apps Are Selling The Most Valuable Thing We Have
Yes, social media can be fun – but it’s important to remember that those apps are about more than just sharing selfies. Have you ever wondered why social media apps are free? It’s because we are not actually the customers and a social media platform itself is not the product. Instead, the customers are advertisers. And the product being sold is our attention… This is a really big deal, because our attention is the most valuable thing we have. When we decide what to pay attention to in the moment, we are making a broader decision about how we want to spend our lives.
There’s a Good Reason Tech Innovators Don’t Let Their Kids Have Devices
When you’re a parent, reckoning with your own negative cell-phone behaviors feels bad – but watching the same habits infect your kids is even worse. That’s probably why, when it comes to their personal lives, many of the leading innovators in digital technology have chosen to shield their own families from the devices for as long as possible. Consider this: Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use the iPad. And Bill and Melinda Gates did not let their children have phones until they were 14.
There’s a Test For Cell-Phone Addiction
If you’ve ever been on Facebook, you know that online quizzes are pretty much human catnip. Here’s one that might actually be worth spending a few minutes of your life on: The smartphone Compulsion Test, Developed by David Greenfield, PhD, Of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. According to Greenfield, a ‘yes’ answer to more than five out of the 15 questions indicates that a person likely has a problematic relationship with their mobile device. Try it for yourself – but be prepared these days it seems like the only way to score below a five on this test is not to have a smartphone. Source
Stopping Phone Addiction: How To Break Up With Your Phone
There is a vast amount of small actions that you can take to reduce cell phone usage and curb your addiction. Most of which being self-aware and actively changing habits that encourage phone use.
We recommend using the new iOS digital health and android usage reports to keep track of the time you’re spending on your phone. The best place to start is by understanding exactly how much time you are using your device and what apps you are using the most.
Realize what triggers are that make you addicted to your phone, find better uses for your time to reduce your daily stress and boredom.
Make conscious efforts to interact with people in person rather than via your phone. Our bodies and minds are built to thrive and develop off of human interactions, isolation with technology will impact you negatively.
Recognize when you are using a smartphone as a wall. If you find it easier to communicate with others through messaging or social media or vent online, work on those skills rather than hiding behind technology.
How To Modify Your Smartphone Use
If you’re wondering how to break cell phone addiction, the best way is to think of it as physical addiction such as smoking, drinking or eating. It’s about recognizing habits and working out slowly reducing the time to manageable amounts.
Limit times that you can use your device. Try checking your phone after meals, don’t take it with you to the bathroom and bandit from the bedroom.
Turn off your phone or put it out of sight. Placing your phone in the drawer at work or leaving it in another room to charge can help reduce the anxiety of wanting to check it.
Don’t let your phone interrupt your sleeping patterns. Looking at your tablet, phone or laptop before bed can impact the quality of sleep you get. Try turning it off.
Focus your boredom and other activities. If you’re just sitting there with your TV on in the background and scrolling aimlessly on your phone, try putting that time into the gym, a hobby or going to meet friends and catch up.
Limit time is you play games or look on social media. Perhaps only use a game at certain times of the day, or try deleting social media apps you’re spending too much time on (social media being one of the primary causes of phone addiction).
Checking your phone every five minutes? Wait an hour or more, you’re probably getting an underlying feeling you’re missing out but you can wait for your fix.
America has over 265.9 million smartphone users and is ranked the third highest country globally for daily screen time behind Brazil and China.
Americans Desperately Looking For a Phone Dependence Solution:
Below is the collective US search Intent data trends from January 2004 to June 2019 for search phrases like ‘help’ and ‘support’ with cell phone addiction related terms to measure chronological search volume increases across the USA.
The above data shows a vast increase in the average Americans desire to fix their phone overuse.
From 2014 to present we can see an accelerated upward trend, this reflects a greater adoption of smartphones versus regular phones coupled with technological advances increasing the addictiveness of the devices.
In 2018 we see the highest percentile of the chart, this was the year where leading operating systems iOS and Android released software update for users to visualize and monitor their use (or overuse). -Source and more statistics on cell phone addiction and usage.
To learn more about cell phone and internet addiction check out this article.