We live in a time where everyone is constantly connected. If we needed to, we could call someone across the planet and be having a conversation with them in less than five minutes. Even kindergarteners have cell phones to call their parents if there is an emergency.
We use our phones for social media apps such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Skype, Snapchat, and so much more. We also use our smartphones for monitoring our steps and heart rate, monitoring our food, making videos, taking pictures, creating slideshows, listening to music or books on tape and podcasts, reading or watching the news, and a lot more.
It’s no wonder that millions of Americans are addicted to their smartphones. People of all ages are unable to put down their phones for long periods of time, and exhibit physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms when they are separated from their device.
How to fight addiction
Smartphone addiction differs from other types of addiction, but can be just as dangerous. People who are addicted to their cell phone experience insomnia, reduced motivation, strain to their eyesight, and many other negative consequences. Learning how to fight addiction can help you turn your life around and become a person who is no longer addicted to their smartphone.
First you need to determine if you are actually addicted to your smartphone, or you just use it too much. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I constantly thinking about my smartphone?
- Do I freak out or overreact when I lose my cell phone?
- Do I find myself often using my smartphone in inappropriate situations such as in class, at work, or at the dinner table?
- Do people constantly comment on my cell phone usage?
- Am I able to have a conversation with someone without looking at my phone?
Answering yes to any of these questions could mean you are suffering from smartphone addiction. It is important that you learn how to function in life without a smartphone, and be more present and aware in the current moment.
Smartphone addiction can be extremely dangerous. Those who are addicted to their phone may use it in unsafe situations such as while driving and while performing difficult tasks. Even talking hands-free on the phone can be dangerous while driving and should be avoided.
The more you give in to your smartphone urges, the worse your addiction gets. Get on top of it now, so that you can get back on the track to living a normal life. Even putting your phone down while riding with someone in the car can help you notice more, be more aware of your surroundings, and ignore less.
Being addicted to your smartphone can also cost you valuable friendships and relationships. Many people will say it is a deal breaker if they go on a first date and the other person is on their phone the whole time. People in older generations get angry when younger people are constantly on their phones, and it makes them want to be around them less. Even constantly being on your phone when you are around friend makes you seem closed off, quiet, shy, and irritated with others.
Fighting addiction through online addiction support groups
If you believe you are a person who is suffering from smartphone addiction, reach out for help as soon as possible. It can be embarrassing and shameful to admit that you have an addiction, because there is such a negative stigma attached to addiction.
If you want to get help, but are too shy too, seek it out on the internet in the form of online addiction support groups. Online addiction support groups are fantastic because you can remain anonymous, get help from those in the same position as you, give help to others, and get help at any time of the day or night.
Best way to overcome addiction
The best ways to overcome smartphone addiction is to begin slowly. You do not want to just quit 100%, and you do not want to go too fast too soon. Here are several steps you can take to begin your recovery of smartphone addiction:
- Plug in your phone and put it away at least two hours before bed.
- Start games with your friends and compete who can go the longest without their smartphone.
- Turn your phone on silent during the day.
Internet addiction self-help
Internet addiction self-help is another option for those who are suffering from smartphone addiction. Being addicted to information almost seems impossible. How are people addicted to texting and calling? How are people addicted to Instagram? The reality is that smartphone addiction is real and it is rampant. Parents need to monitor the time their children spend looking at screens, and encourage their children to play outside.