Is your smartphone all but attached to your hip? Do you have trouble putting it down? You might be suffering from smartphone addiction. Some doctors consider it a real diagnosis, and argue it stems from the pressures of our modern world.
Doctors have shown through studies that the Internet and certain forms of computer use can become habitual and addictive. Polls of smartphone users themselves also suggest the addiction is real: Nearly half of business professionals and managers told researchers they would experience a great deal of physical anxiety if they lost their phone for a week, according to WebMD.
Not everyone agrees though on just what you’re addicted to. You may not be addicted to the smartphone per se, but more to the actions and rewards of its use, says a 2011 study in the research journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. So what are some signs it might be time to put the phone down?
1. You always have your phone in your hand
Your phone has become an extension of your arm, or you have your phone out in inappropriate places or times. If people are always telling you to put your phone away, that’s a problem.
2. Checking your phone in the middle of conversations
Nothing’s worse that talking to somebody who is not really listening to you. Taking out your phone in the middle of real conversations is not only a sign of disinterest, but it’s also rude.
3. Your phone battery lasts hours
Even the worst smartphones have battery life that should last at least a day if not more. If you find yourself needing to charge your phone halfway through the day, you’re obviously on it way too much.
4. You feel your phone buzz even when it doesn’t
Those phantom vibrations from your phone are actually a real psychological issue. Dubbed “Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome,” psychologists say this is a side effect of our smartphone addictions and expectations of always being “connected.”
5. Separation from your phone makes you anxious
If you can’t leave your phone out of your sight, chances are you’re addicted to it. No doubt many of us have felt the panic of not being able to find our phone, or worse yet losing it altogether? How will people get ahold of us?!
6. Sleeping with your phone next to you
Our smartphone addictions follow us to our beds, the only place where there should be some expectation of separation from the world. Sleep doctors actually say this can cause you to have less restful sleep, which can make you more tired during the day.
7. Checking mail, apps, texts becomes an obsession
Every app these days will alert us in some way that we have something new to look at. If you’re just checking for new messages regardless of whether you’ve received an alert or not, you might have a problem.
8. You use your phone as an escape
Uncomfortable and awkward situations are all around us, but our smartphones have given us an easy way to escape without having to face the situation itself. Just act like you got a real important message you must respond to right away and tune everything out. That’s not exactly the best way to handle it.
9. Checking your phone right before going to sleep
Sleep experts tell us to limit distractions when trying to fall asleep. Smartphone addicts cannot handle this. No doubt you’ve dropped a phone on your face once or twice because of this.
You’re supposed to be getting dressed for that important meeting or hot date, but instead you just have to respond to that Facebook status your friend just posted.
11. A lack of notifications makes you sad
If the highlight of your day is getting a notification, it’s time to worry. Conversely, if you open your phone and are distraught that there’s not a single notification from anyone, that’s equally bad.
12. And finally, you’re reading this on your smartphone!
Did you forget that you had a PC?
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