Everyone knows that smartphones make life convenient. They make it easy to check the weather, find a recipe, stay in touch with friends, follow the news, or just see what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast. But for people with nomophobia, smartphones cause more problems than they solve. Nomophobia is a moniker for smartphone addiction, short for “no mobile phone phobia.” That’s right—smartphone addiction has become enough of an issue that it merits its own word.
It’s estimated that one in eight people are addicted to their phones. And while nomophobia hasn’t made its way into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders just yet, the signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction range from the psychological to the physical and are very real for those suffering. It’s easy to find out if you’re addicted to your smartphone and take measures to scale back before it becomes a bigger problem:-
You can’t sleep
Smartphone addiction has been linked to trouble sleeping. Research suggests that the blue light emitted by your phone can actually disrupt your sleep cycle, making it harder to fall asleep.
Addiction doesn’t just mean you look at your phone a lot. It also comes with measurable symptoms that indicate you’ve become dependent on your phone in a way that impedes your everyday life. For some addicts, this means just the thought of not having their phone can cause them anxiety and actually going without their phone is a no-go entirely.
You’re stressed out by social media
If you’re constantly checking your phone, you’re more likely to get stressed out by what’s happening on social media.
You can’t stand still without checking your phone
Studies show that people in the UK check their smartphones once every 12 minutes.
You lose time or getting distracted
Do frequently find yourself snapping back to reality and realizing you’ve been lost in your phone for an extended period of time? Losing time by reaching for your phone when you’re bored could be a sign that you’ve got a smartphone problem.
You text more than talk
One of the many deleterious effects of smartphone addiction is that you may find yourself isolated from the real world. If you find yourself communicating with people via text more often than face to face, it’s probably time to turn the phone off and grab a cup of coffee with a friend.
You text while driving
The inability to stop doing something despite the negative consequences it can have on your health or life is a classic sign of addiction, and that’s exactly what texting while driving is. People who text and drive actually have worse reaction time than people who drink and drive. If you can’t put your phone away while you’re driving, you’re a danger to yourself and to others on the road.
You never eat alone
When you sit down for dinner with friends, is the first thing you do place your phone down on the table so you can keep an eye on it at all times.
Here are some ways to help you try and combat Nomophobia:-
- Try “social media fasting”
- Monitor your usage by using apps such as ‘Moment’ and ‘BreakFree’, which track your smartphone usage – you might be quite shocked to see how much time you devote to your mobile!
- Driving? Turn it off.
- Power down during every meal.
- Exercise more— Of course, another way to generate those sweet, sweet endorphins is a classic. Go for a run. Lift some weights. Do yoga. Every minute spent exercising is a minute not spent reading a silly internet article.