Are you addicted to your smartphone? The device has become a valuable addition to our lives and lets us keep in touch, stay informed and entertained – but can you spend time away from it? Or are you in a panic if you don’t have it?
If you identified with the latter, it is one of the many signs of smartphone addiction.
Others include getting into trouble for using it whether you’re a student or at work and looking at the device just before you go to sleep and first thing when you wake up.
But physical effects like neck and wrist pain can also indicate a problem.
SIGNS THAT MAY INDICATE SMARTPHONE ADDICTION
* Panic when phone is misplaced
* Constant usage, even in social situations
* Euphoric feeling when text, email or call comes in
* Using phone right before sleep and right after waking
* Feeling guilty about phone usage
* Physical discomfort, like wrist or neck pain
* Trouble in school or at work
Smartphone addiction is a problem in Australian and the US.
A recent study in the US showed that 6 in 10 adults owned a smartphone and 72 per cent said they are never more than a couple of metres away from it.
When asked how they felt if they are away from their device, the US respondents answered panicked (73 per cent), desperate (14 per cent), sick (7 per cent) and relieved (6 per cent).
And 50 per cent of professional workers check their smartphones regularly even while they’re on holidays.
One in five US adults aged 18-34 have even used their smartphones during sex.
HOW CAN YOU BREAK YOUR SMARTPHONE ADDICTION
* Unplug for 30 minutes
* Focus on the people around you
* Be aware of what triggers you to grab your phone
* Turn off your ringer
* Set strict rules about when you won’t use your phone (at dinner, first thing in the morning, in the car)
* Once a month, have a smartphone fast, where you put the phone down for an entire day or weekend
* Place your phone at least 10m away while you sleep
* Consider professional treatment with counselor or at technology-addiction facility