Addicted to your Mobile?

23 May 2014 Comments Off on Addicted to your Mobile?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mobile as much as the next guy, but I am starting to wonder if we have unhealthy attachments to these little pieces of technology. If you have ever witnessed a couple on a date sitting silently while they played on their phones or seen a parent ignoring their child at the park while tweeting or playing angry birds you, might have wondered the same thing. How can something so useful and crucial to our everyday lives have such a big downside as well? My phone currently doubles as an alarm clock, camera, music player, calendar, communication device and portal to the rest of the world. I don’t like thinking about surviving without it, but I do recognize the irony of a device designed to connect us to the rest of the world that actually acts to isolate us from our friends and family. The following is a list of signs that you too might be addicted to your cellphone.

 

  1. You take it into the bathroom with you. Yes- I know lots of people who do this regularly. Aside from the outright hygienic downsides, it also takes away any down or quiet time you might have had to be alone without thoughts for even a moment.
  2. You feel anxious when your phone is not in your immediate field of vision. If you are constantly checking and rechecking your pocket/purse to reassure yourself it is there, you may have a dependency issue.
  3. If you have ever misplaced your phone briefly or lost it outright and felt as if you were about to have a panic attack or sick to your stomach, you may have a dependency issue.
  4. Your phone is on the table during mealtime, even when you are having meals with partners or your family. Friends or family might even complain about this habit and tell you that they never feel that they have your undivided attention.
  5. You check your phone first thing in the morning when you wake up and last thing before you go to bed at night. You might even take your phone into bed with you. Your partner may have complained about this before, or may not have noticed because they do it as well.

 

If any or all of these signs apply to you, it may be worth examining your usage issues. Consider restricting time that your phone is with you or that you are allowed to check it. For example, telling yourself you will only check it every thirty minutes might be reasonable or painful depending on your regular pattern of usage. In addition, you might want to have a point in the evening that is “phone-free” for you and your family. During this time, you can focus your undivided attention on the people that truly matter the most to you. Moreover, you may want to consider what role your phone and constantly being connected plays in your life. This exploration can be done with the help of a counsellor or other registered professional. While a cellphone addiction may not appear to be harmful or may not be as severe as other addictions, it is always helpful to try and understand the root of this issue.