Smartphone Addiction

If I said that I don’t check my phone compulsively, I would be lying. Even though we think that we don’t use our phones regularly, phones, especially smartphones, have become a piece of us. We use it in the bathroom, on the street, in school, at home. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are holding it. I know I’m not the only person who struggles with this.

The usage of phones increased rapidly after the inventions of smartphones like iPhone and Androids. People now started using their phones not only to call but also do other stuff. New tech has provided the ability to access the Internet on-the-go and at any moment. Although, it has advantages for some people developed an addiction to this.

Why do we become addicted?

Nevertheless phone addiction is not listed as a mental illness yet, phycologists indicates that it is similar with gambling. Just like an addiction to gambling and the alluring sounds of slot machines, we addictively react to the sounds our smartphone makes. In addition, variable rewards also have an effect. We seek messages, snaps; it shows us a proof that people care for us or that is what technology made us think. Sixty seven percent of smartphone users check their phone even though there wasn’t a notification. That is major sign of cell phone dependence.

What are the signs of smartphone addiction?

A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.

Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.

Preoccupation with smartphone use.

Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.

Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.

Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.

Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.

Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.

Physical and Psychological effects

Phone addiction causes both physical and psychological harm. Digital eye strain, neck problems, illnesses due to germs, car accidents, and male infertility are some examples of physical harms. Sleep disturbances, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, relationship problems and anxiety are psychological effects. As you can see, a small electronic device has an enormous effect of us. It harms our psychology and health. To reduce its effect we should also reduce the usage of it. Starting with turning notifications off we can take baby steps toward a life without addiction to smartphones.