What’s going to happen if you accidentally lose your phone? Will it mean that you lost your connection to the rest of the world or you just got more time for really important things, talks and relations? Are you afraid to become weak and vulnerable if you get disconnected from the web and have no access to your smartphone? Or can this open a new source of your inner strength?
Phone addiction and its effect on your life
Phone addiction is real. Today different experts the world over talk about nomophobia which is the irrational but still real fear of being without your smartphone or unable to use it when you want.
According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders phone addiction is very similar to gambling addiction and does need our attention. And if you are addicted to your phone it’s not just about losing your time but moreover a risk of different physical problems which includes
- The pain and discomfort in the eyes (especially when you are at the screen for more than 2 hours a day).
- Eye fatigue.
- Neck problems.
- Increased illnesses due to germs on the phone.
- Distraction from everyday’s life is another (and probably the biggest) harm the addiction to smartphone can cause.
Am I addicted to my phone?
If you are wondering, “Am I addicted to my phone?” this simple twenty-question quiz will help you to understand if there any reasons for you to worry about the issue. Try to give honest answers to the questions below.
- Do you feel uncomfortable without constant access to smartphone?
- Do you start to worry if you cannot check last news or weather report from your smartphone?
- Are you displeased with the fact that you cannot check the information on the internet immediately?
- Do you feel scared when your phone battery is almost dead?
- Do you start to panic when you are almost out of prepaid minutes?
- Are you afraid of getting lost if you do not have a smartphone with navigator?
- Do you constantly check Wi-Fi network list when you don’t have the connection?
- Do you feel angery when you want to use smartphone but cannot do it for some reason or because of somebody?
- Do you feel a strong desire to check your smartphone several minutes after the last check even if you didn’t receive any notification?
- Do you start to worry if you cannot make a call to your friends or family any time you want?
- Do you worry even more if you cannot check your email also?
- Do you feel uncomfortable because you are not aware of the latest news, trends, and opinions (since your smartphone stopped working)?
- Do you take smartphone everywhere (like bed, bathroom, and toilet)?
- Do you feel lost and forgotten if you don’t get new notifications from social media?
- Do you feel embarrassed and don’t know what to do when you don’t have a smartphone along?
- Do you fail in attempts to use smartphone less often?
- Do you feel like some of your personal or job relations are at risk because you are using your phone so excessively?
- Do you feel like you need to have the newest model of smartphone or latest versions of every app?
- Do you turn to your smartphone when you feel anxiety or depression?
- Do you lose the sense of time when you are at the screen?
If your answers were “Yes” to at least half of those questions, you have all the reasons to revise your usage of the smartphone. Pay special attention to Questions 16-20. Positive answers to those ones may be the symptoms of serious phone addiction which can bring significant harm to one’s life.
How to get free from phone addiction?
Despite all the advantages of the technology smartphone shouldn’t be your only friend and conversation partner in this world. Some simple steps will help you to be less addicted to your smartphone.
- Install only useful applications. Your criteria of ‘usefulness’ can differ from others’.
- Delete ‘time-killing’ applications on your phone (like most games and some social media apps).
- Do not do everything on one device. Smartphone can replace today’s books, newspapers, magazines, MP3 player, camera, TV, game console, computer and many other useful things. Plus, it gives you broader opportunities that the previous generations didn’t have. But it doesn’t mean that we have to let it replace everything.
- When you switch between different activities it is good both for your brain and body. This approach makes your life more versatile. And you will be not that much addicted to one device because your likes and feelings will be shared between many different things.
- Family dinner or important meeting is not the best place for you to use your smartphone.
- Look for a ‘long-term’ content. Interestingly, many ‘digital era” kids (and not the kids only, let’s be honest) have attention focusing problems. One of the key reasons for that is because smartphones provide us with enormous volumes of different content the most part of which you can just briefly run through without getting into it. No wonder why it is so hard for us to focus our attention.
- Limit your screen time. Installing parental control app on your device will be a great support for this. If you feel like you might be addicted to your phone, parental control will be of great help for you to become more self-disciplined and self-controlled in this area.
- Have a ‘phone-off’ day once in a while.
Remember, smartphone is not your enemy. It can provide you with a number of great opportunities. But it is good to have a balance in life and remember that it has many other (not phone-linked) opportunities for us.
How long can you stay phone-free? What helps you to be less addicted to your phone?