Telltale Signs of an Addiction
If you truly can’t tell if you’re addicted to your smartphone, try asking yourself these questions:
- Do you always keep your smartphone on your person? This isn’t always a bad thing, but when it’s always in your pocket, you feel compelled to pull it out and respond to texts, emails, or even phone calls while in the office. This can be distracting, and detrimental to your productivity.
- Do you find yourself placing your smartphone on the table when eating a meal? Besides being rude and inconsiderate to your company or waiter, this shows that you can’t go a simple half-hour session without checking your phone once.
- How many times a day do you check your phone? We realize that there might be a reason you check your phone, but if it’s simply to “check the time,” that’s what watches are for. Continuously checking your phone when you aren’t expecting a call is either a result of boredom, or a smartphone addiction.
- Where do you place your smartphone when you sleep? If it’s on the nightstand or under your pillow, you might be in trouble. This might be because you use your phone as an alarm clock. If your phone goes off in the middle of the night and wakes you up, it can cut into your sleep cycle and reduce the quality of rest you receive. This, in turn, can be bad for both your health and concentration in the workplace.
- Do you bring your smartphone into the bathroom with you? Plenty of people bring their phones into the bathroom with them and take the opportunity to catch up on emails, reply to text messages, or check social media. Besides clearly being a sign of addiction, this can be a primary reason for the spread of germs in the office. You might wash your hands, but we doubt you wash your smartphone.
- Do you get angry at your smartphone when it goes off? The average smartphone user has a ton of different applications on their device, each with notifications that go off periodically throughout the day, or signal the arrival of a new message. If you feel compelled to check these constantly, you might (understandably) get angry or flustered.
- Do texts, emails, and other messages seem to take the place of real-life conversation? That’s because they are. The beauty of a smartphone is that you can communicate with people across the world in the blink of an eye, but when you use it as a substitute for real-world interaction, you can say with confidence that something needs to change.
What Can You Do?
One of the better life choices you can make is to cut down on your smartphone use, especially if you feel like it’s taking the place of your social life and familial relationships. Here are some solutions that might help you get over your mobile dependency:
- Don’t buy the latest smartphone. The latest technology is sure to have the most features, and as such, you’re sure to waste more time on one of them, than another, slightly older model.
- Limit your application consumption. When your phone is filled with applications, they can be bothersome. Most people only take advantage of somewhere between 5-10 apps every day, so why use more than that when you don’t need to?
- Separate yourself from the phone. Instead of leaving it in your pocket, keep it in another room, a bag, or a purse. Use other devices for purposes that can accomplish the same thing, like an alarm clock or a watch.
- Just ignore it. While ignoring your phone might seem difficult, it’s the best choice in most cases, so long as it’s not an urgent call that you’re expecting. Always take real human interaction over a text or phone call.
Of these seven questions, how many do identify with? Let us know in the comments just how addicted you are to your smartphone.