How To Tell If You Are Addicted To Your Cell Phone

How To Tell If You Are Addicted To Your Cell Phone

Last Reviewed : 01/08/2021
How To Tell If You Are Addicted To Your Cell Phone

The wide accessibility of the internet and the ubiquity of smartphones has made it easier to access information about anything, from anywhere, and at any time.

In one click, or two, you can get information on what is happening several thousand kilometers away. This has made the smartphone even more desirable. Worse, it has created a kind of attachment to a communication device, unlike the world has seen before.

Today, nearly 90% of Americans own a smartphone. With every information on the tip of fingers, they are constantly on their phone scrolling - googling stuff, reading the news, drooling over Instagram images, watching viral short videos on Tik Tok, and making new connections on Facebook. This despite having other important things to do.


Both the young and old are hooked on smartphones

It’s not just young people. The older generation doesn’t seem able to put their phones down too. A study showed that 67% of smartphone users admitted to checking their phone for any notification even if it did not make any sound or vibration.

The study, conducted by the University of Derby, found that 1 in 8 people is addicted to their mobile devices.

Though phone addiction has not been classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM) yet, some researchers consider it similar to gambling addiction.


How do you know if you are addicted to your phone?

So what are the signs of mobile phone addiction? The following are signs that may point to a cellphone addiction:

  • You are preoccupied with your phone even when there are more important things to do,
  • You have repeatedly failed to cut down on the time you spend on your phone,
  • You have a strong fear of losing your phone,
  • You lose track of time when you are on the phone,
  • You turn to your mobile phone when depressed and anxious,
  • Your phone usage causes problems your relationships and at work,
  • You get angry, irritable, tense, and depressed when you do not find your phone or experience network problems,
  • You easily nod in agreement when talked to while on the phone,
  • You start using your cell phone as soon as you wake up and feel restless if it is not with you
  • You don’t think twice about buying the latest phone, even when you can’t afford to.

Mobile addiction has both physical and psychological effects. These effects can be permanent and difficult to manage sometimes.


Physical signs and symptoms

Here are some of the physical effects of a mobile phone addiction:

  • Text neck, which is neck pain and other neck problems that occur due to constantly looking down on your mobile phone,
  • Eye strain, which occurs when we look at digital screens for more than two hours. Complaints of burning, itching, pain, headache, and decreased vision are common,
  • Infections, due to microbes found on the cell phone surface. E.coli and MRSA are some of the nasty bacteria you risk getting because of excessive phone use,
  • Traffic accidents. Studies show that texting and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving,
  • Male infertility- early studies show that cellphone radiation may affect sperm count, motility, and viability.

Psychological signs and symptoms

mobile phone addiction has physical as well as psychological effects. The two are equally dangerous. Here are the psychological effects of excessive cellphone use:

  • Disturbed sleep,
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Relationship problems.

If you have any of the symptoms we have discussed, do not panic. Few tips may help you to de-addict yourself from your cell phone. Before you sleep, have a strong determination not to use a cell phone as soon as you wake up. You can even keep your phone away from your bed. Use your cell phone only for important activities. Before you pick up the cell phone, ask yourself if you really have to use it. If not, divert your attention to something else. You can take a few deep breaths, take a walk, listen to music or chat with a friend. If you have serious trouble, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and to explore treatment strategies for the condition.

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