Addicted to Your Smartphone?

Smartphones are part of daily life. We use them to check email, text our friends and call loved ones. However, smartphone use can spiral out of control if you don’t tame it. Here’s how to tell if you’re addicted to your smartphone.

In today’s world, smartphones have become the norm. Almost everyone has one, and almost everyone uses it many times a day. But considering how often people use their smartphones, there can easily be a blurred line between controlled use and uncontrolled use, this is also known as addiction.

Addiction is an interesting word because people most likely think of drug use or alcoholism when they see or hear that word. But addiction can apply to much more than just drugs and alcohol. You can be addicted to many different things and that includes smartphones.

The thing is, many users may not even realize that they are addicted to their smartphones, so they are not getting the help they need to quit their smartphones in order to have a healthier attitude towards their mobile devices.

If you think you’re addicted to your smartphone, or are just wondering about the signs of smartphone addiction, here are some things you should know as you hope you can fight your smartphone addiction and build a healthy relationship with your mobile device.

Perhaps one of the hardest things about smartphone addiction is whether you are truly addicted to your smartphone. Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (also known as “Dr. Romance”) is a psychotherapist and author of: Fact 13 Step: Exploring Confidence, Confidence, and Independence Beyond 12-Step Programs, he says, “addiction is defined by how much it affects your life… If your level of phone use means you neglect your family, social life, health, or are having problems, you are likely to become addicted. If your family constantly complains that you use too much phone or that you don’t go out to social events or exercise, your smartphone use is excessive and possibly addictive.”


A great example Tessina provides is if you don’t have a WiFi connection or charging station on the go, you might normally just be frustrated, but if you’re addicted to your smartphone, you can feel devastated.

You can also ask yourself some of these questions Tessina provides to determine if you are addicted to your smartphone and neglecting other aspects of your life:

There are also physical health risks associated with smartphone addiction. “The often sedentary nature of phone addiction means that if you spend too long without a break, you’ll harm your body and be at risk for repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel),” says Tessina.

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Sitting hunched over your phone for hours can strain the neck and back muscles and can cause “eye fatigue, blurred vision, dizziness and dry eyes, strabismus; headaches and even migraines.”

Let’s face it, these physical health risks are probably the worst-case scenario, but they’re certainly not impossible.

Kirsten Klahn, Senior Health and Fitness Editor Cheat SheetIt provides a simple question to ask yourself to see if you’re heavily dependent on your smartphone: If a person can’t go 5 to 10 minutes without their device, that’s probably a clear sign.

So how do you free yourself from smartphone addiction? Klahn recommends “setting for 10-minute intervals where you don’t look at your phone, and then build on that time. Ideally, someone will save enough time to be able to stay away from or avoid looking at their phone for 30 minutes or more. This is a great habit to activate before bed — it will help with your smartphone addiction and help you sleep better.”

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Professor of psychology, licensed clinical psychologist, and author, Dr. Ramani Durvasula puts smartphone addiction in friendly terms: the inability to control use.

Craving when you can’t access the ‘addictive object’. Wanting to do this more often and enough to interfere with work, school, and relationships with spouse, family, and friends. Other people notice dysfunctional behavior. You try to stop doing it and you can’t reduce it,” Durvasula says.

He also says “if a person finds they are anxious and uncomfortable when they can’t use it.” [their smartphone]or get angry at times like this – that’s a pattern consistent with addiction.

Fighting this addiction, like any addiction, “requires attention, intention to change, and new habits,” Durvasula says.

This includes taking a smartphone-free time during the day, not using your smartphone right before bed (and putting your phone in a different room while you’re sleeping or even across the room), and even removing addictive apps like social media and games. This makes your smartphone addictive in the first place.

Moyens Staff
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