You're on your smartphone constantly, but do you have a problem?
These days, it seems everyone has a smartphone (50 percent of mobile subscribers are smartphone owners and that number is constantly growing). They're convenient and helpful -- not to mention fun. But are you spending too much time on your device? According to a study conducted by Mobiles Please, 82 percent of smartphone users are on their phone so often that they regularly bring it to the toilet.
Even if you bring your smartphone into the bathroom, does this mean you have a problem? Tina B. Tessina, PhD says, "The difference between a healthy phone use versus addiction is that healthy phone use can be controlled. If a computer, smartphone or other outlet is unavailable, it is disappointing but not devastating. Conversely, an addict feels desperate to have his or her smartphone available, no matter the emotional or financial cost."
So... are you addicted?
Tessina suggests you ask yourself six questions to determine if you might be addicted to your phone and neglecting other aspects of your life:
- Can I set reasonable limits on my phone time?
- Do I have some time for exercise?
- Do I get enough sleep?
- Do I have time for family and friends?
- Am I being rude to the people around me?
- Do I ignore my kids or fail to supervise them properly, because I'm on the phone?
How do you break your smartphone habit?
Tessina says you should consider four things when trying to curb your smartphone use:
- Set some boundaries for your smartphone use so it doesn't constantly interrupt your conversations with people or your concentration on work.
- Make sure your smartphone isn't interfering with your relationships with co-workers, friends and family.
- Limit your smartphone use to specific times of the day, such as work breaks or a limited time in the evening and on the weekend.
- When friends or family complain about your phone use, pay attention and take their complaints seriously. If you cannot manage your phone use in these ways, you can consider yourself addicted, and you may need to get help from a licensed therapist.