How to know if you are addicted to your cell phone
You’re always reaching for your phone.
If you spend more than an hour a day on your phone, you’re likely addicted.
Not sure if that’s true for you? Here are some other telltale signs of cell phone addiction:
- ▪ Your phone is the first thing you look at when you wake up and the last thing before going to bed.
- ▪ You can’t imagine life without it (and no, we don’t mean because it’s such a great friend).
- ▪ You’re constantly distracted by your mobile device, whether it be from checking your email or texting someone back.
You feel compelled to check texts, emails and alerts.
The first step to determining if you’re addicted to your phone is realizing that checking it has become a reflex. You might find yourself compulsively checking for texts, emails and alerts without even thinking about it. This can lead to anxiety in situations when you aren’t expecting a message. It can be hard to stop, and in some cases, the behavior can turn into an addiction.
While extreme reactions like this may seem overblown, they don’t have to be if they’re happening consistently—and not just while waiting for class or work meetings at the coffee shop, but also while walking down the street or around town with friends! If you’re having these kinds of compulsive thoughts and behaviors during other parts of your day—like when reading a book or watching TV—this might indicate that your relationship with technology is affecting more than just your productivity (or lack thereof).
You find yourself mindlessly passing time on a daily basis by staring at your phone.
When you are mindlessly using your phone, you can be so absorbed in what’s happening on the screen that you don’t even realize how much time has passed. This is different from being mindful of your actions (i.e., paying attention to what you’re doing) because it’s not intentional; it happens unconsciously and automatically. Examples of mindlessness include:
- ▪ Playing games for hours at a time
- ▪ Watching videos or scrolling through photos on social media platforms
- ▪ Browsing the internet aimlessly
You look at your phone while practicing other habits that are potentially dangerous.
In addition to the risks mentioned above, you may be putting yourself in danger if you look at your phone while practicing other habits that are potentially dangerous. For example:
- ▪ Texting and driving—You should never text and drive, as it can cause crashes and car accidents.
- ▪ Walking around—When walking around outside, do not look at your phone. When crossing the street or going through a crowd of people, keep both hands on the phone so that you’re safe from getting hit by a car or slipping on wet pavement.
- ▪ Eating—Never eat while looking at your phone; doing so could make you choke or spill food on yourself.
You wake up multiple times at night to look at your phone.
- ▪ You wake up multiple times at night to look at your phone.
- ▪ You’re checking social media, emails, and texts.
- ▪ You’re looking at videos or memes that have been sent to you or that you’ve found on social media sites like Twitter or Reddit.
Your anxiety increases when you accidentally leave your phone somewhere or lose it entirely.
If you are constantly checking your phone, feeling uneasy when it is not around and experiencing anxiety when it is lost or taken away from you, then this could be a sign that you’re addicted to your cell phone.
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease. The level of anxiety experienced when losing or misplacing your phone can vary depending on the individual. For some people, losing their phone may cause mild anxiety while others may feel extreme anxiety and panic if they cannot locate their device immediately. Feeling anxious when separated from one’s device indicates that there may be an addiction present; however, this does not necessarily mean that everyone who suffers from excessive cell-phone use suffers from an addiction.
You spend more time with your phone than with family and friends during social gatherings.
The importance of social interactions
Social gatherings are a great chance for us to interact with friends and family, but it can be hard to stay present when we’re constantly checking our phones. If you find yourself spending more time with your phone than people during these events, it could be a sign that you’re addicted to your device.
How to limit time spent on your cell phone when with friends
It’s important not only to limit the amount of time spent on your cell phone in social settings but also learn how to be more mindful in general. It may seem like common sense, but taking the time out of our day off from work or school (or even just relaxing) and just being present is something most people struggle with in today’s fast-paced world. This can make it difficult for some individuals who want nothing more than a break from their busy lives – but learning how to relax is essential if we want our minds (and bodies!) healthy as well! One way I’ve found success at this recently has been using my favorite app: Headspace! The guided meditations available within this service help me get into my zen place quickly which gives me space away from all those distractions around us without having too much downtime where we feel like we’ll get bored out there alone without anything else going on… beyond ourselves that is ;)
Your sleep suffers.
If you find yourself staying up late and waking up early to check your phone, it is time to consider cutting back on the amount of time you spend checking your phone. This will allow you to get more sleep, which leads to increased alertness the next day. Studies have linked decreased sleep time and quality with an increased risk for accidents, depression and anxiety, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to take back control of your life and your relationship with your cell phone.
You don’t have to change your entire life. Start small, and work your way up. For example, you could start by putting your phone away during certain activities. Or you could turn off notifications for a week. Or maybe even put your phone in a drawer overnight so that it’s not tempting you when you’re trying to sleep (and therefore making it harder for you to get the restful sleep we all need).