Just like caffeine, nicotine and sugar, we can also become addicted to our smartphones, and this addiction can be harmful to your mental and physical wellbeing. You might spend too much time on your phone, harming your eyes, messing with your sleep patterns and increasing your anxiety due to too much time on social media.
You might even find yourself frequently scanning Buy Mobiles for the latest models and best deals on new phones. According to one book, around 10 to 12 % of people are official addicted to their devices.
However, not all signs of smartphone addiction are so obvious. Here are 7 signs to watch out for that may indicate that you’re addicted to your mobile.
1. It’s the First and Last Part of Your Day
The first sign you should look out for that may indicate you have a smart phone addiction is that this is the first and last thing that you check every day. If you always keep your phone within arms’ reach, even when you sleep, this can be a bad sign, particularly if you reach for your phone as soon as you wake up.
Equally, if you can’t go to sleep until you’ve checked your messages, emails or social media, you may have a smart phone addiction. The latter can be particularly harmful, as it may mess with your sleep patterns and stop you from getting a good night’s sleep.
2. You Frequently Check Your Phone
As well as checking your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night, checking your phone constantly throughout the day can also be a worrying sign. If you cannot let a notification sound pass you by without checking your phone, or you’re constantly looking at the screen to see if you have new notifications, you may be addicted.
This is a habit that is very easy to form, as we feel a pressure to check and respond to every message or email. Additionally, there is a degree of social reinforcement, especially when it comes to social media: every like or tweet makes us full valued and accepted, and this becomes an addictive feeling.
3. Your Phone Goes to the Bathroom With You
This may be a very common behaviour, but it can also be a sign of smart phone addiction. Taking your phone with you to the bathroom to keep yourself entertained may be perfectly fine – though perhaps a book or a newspaper is a better idea. However, if you find that you absolutely cannot go to the loo without taking your phone with you, things have gone too far.
4. You Get a Boost From Using Your Phone
The characteristic nature of addiction is that a certain behaviour or substance gives you a high of some kind, activating the pleasure centre in your brain. The addiction forms, therefore, when we try to repeat this high over and over again, usually with diminishing results that mean we need to do more to get the same pleasure.
You can enjoy using your phone, of course. But this moves into dangerous territory when you find that you get an instant mood boost every time you hear a notification or pick up your device.
5. Your Phone Goes Everywhere You Do
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with habitually taking your phone with you every time you leave the house. However, if you find you literally cannot leave the room without your phone in your hand, you probably have a problem. If your phone is always either in your hand or in your pocket, and you feel naked without it, you could be addicted to your phone.
6. You Hallucinate that Your Phone is Vibrating
This sign may seem a little extreme, but it is a pretty strong indicator that you are suffering from smart phone addiction. If you are addicted to your phone, you may start experiencing “phantom vibrations”, feeling that your phone is vibrating even when it is not. If you start to feel your device vibrate or think you’ve heard a notification and check your phone to see nothing is there, it is almost certainly time for a detox.
7. Your Virtual Life is More Important than Reality
The final sign of smartphone addiction to look out for is when your virtual life starts to take precedence over what is happening right in front of you. This may start to happen when scrolling through social media or checking your messages becomes more important than the conversation you are having with someone in real life.
This can also have very dangerous, even life threatening , manifestations. For example, your virtual life may seem more critical that what you are doing to the extent that you find yourself texting while driving.