What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of addiction? Do you think of drugs and alcohol? Perhaps pornography comes to mind. Maybe you think of sweets and how you have trouble resisting anything containing sugar. Chances are, you didn’t think of your cell phone. Maybe you should have because you might have a cell phone addiction.
Cell phone addiction is a current epidemic. Before you write me off as some old-fashioned, outdated, out-of-the-loop crank, hear me out. Hear me out and answer this question with 100 percent honesty: Do you ever feel nervous or anxious if you’re not within reach of your cell phone?
Entrepreneurs often justify addiction
Cell phones are valuable tools that increase our ability to earn income. Such tools also allow many of us to work from mobile offices. The downside is that many business owners and workers rarely put down their phones because they claim they must be available 24/7.
A person who justifies cell phone addiction is most likely addicted. Some people actually brag about their addiction to social media! Look up synonyms for the word addiction in a thesaurus. (I dare you to do that in an actual book, without using your cell phone.) You’ll find words, such as dependence, craving, habit, enslavement, compulsion and fixation. Does any of that sound healthy to you?
Cell phone addiction zaps your attention span
People who are addicted to their cell phones often have difficulty focusing on certain tasks. Activities that pose the greatest struggle include reading books (not digital ones) and watching full-length movies. Phone addicts also have trouble playing board games or having lengthy conversations in person.
Many addicts try to politely excuse themselves from everyday interactions with others. A person suffering from this type of addiction might be engaged in conversation. Suddenly, a notification sound pings on his or her phone. Rather than disregard it, the person abruptly ends the conversation by saying he or she “must” respond to the message. The truth is, most messages can wait.
Screen time stats help identify cell phone addiction
There are cell phone addiction recovery programs available now. Such programs often include using apps to track your cell phone usage. One man who wanted to overcome his cell phone obsession was shocked to discover he’d reached for his phone more than 100 times in a single day. A teacher experimented by having her students turn up the sound on their cell phones during class. They were to mark a tally on a chart every time they received a text or notification. Interruptions disrupted her students more than 400 times in one class.
The amount of time we spend on our cell phones shouldn’t outweigh the amount of time we spend with our spouses, children and other human beings, in person. We shouldn’t feel like we’re missing an appendage if we’re without our phones. Modern technology brings opportunity, convenience and enjoyment to our lives. We can also become addicted to it and worse, refuse to acknowledge our addictions by justifying perpetual attachments to our cell phones.
Addiction rehabilitation can better your life
A science journalist named Catherine Price created a 7-day phone break-up challenge. She also wrote a book entitled, “How to Break Up with Your Cell Phone.” These projects do not advocate elimination of advanced technology or cell phone use. The purpose is to increase your health by overcoming cell phone obsession.
Recovering from cell phone addiction isn’t easy. Helpful tips include placing a rubber band around your phone or locking your screen with a series of questions. Answering three questions to access your phone helps identify necessity over fixation. Price also recommends resisting the urge to use your phone and replacing it by closely observing your surroundings. People are often shocked when they witness other people perpetually using their cell phones.
Have you overcome a cell phone addiction? Tell us how you did it!