5 scary symptoms of phone addiction
Our phones are our constant companions. We use them for work, to keep in touch with loved ones and to entertain ourselves on long commutes. A 2016 study found that on average, we touch tap or click on our phone screens 2617 times per day, a figure that can only have increased by 2020. So it is no wonder then that so many people admit to being addicted to their phones. Below you can see the increase in interest in searching on phone addiction in the last 15 years: increasing exponentially.
If so many people worldwide are searching for the topic it must mean they are experiencing negative side effects of this addiction in their daily life. However, in a world designed around phones, it can be difficult to gauge what’s ‘normal’ and what’s problematic. So we have put together 5 symptoms of phone addiction to help you decipher when you need to take steps to better your tech-life balance.
#1 Poor sleep
40% of adults look at their phone within 5 minutes of waking up- 65% of adults under 35. We know that longer time spent on technology each day has been definitively linked to shorter sleep and that 47% of adults miss out on sleep due to their phone usage. So, why are we still sleeping with our phone in our rooms- let alone our beds?! We have often talked about the benefits of sleeping without your phone- but it is not just us. 93.6% of study participants said that they would consider not sleeping with their phone again because of the positives they experienced.
#2 Eye strain
Symptoms of phone addiction are both physical and mental. Eye strain is one of the most common results of digital dependence with 73% of young adults feelings its effects. A 2018 study found that those who were shortsighted tended to use double the amount of phone data compared to those who didn’t need glasses- suggesting that phone addiction is correlated to excess phone usage. Once you begin to log off more often and look at the world around you instead of the small screen you will notice the difference!
Nomophobia (the fear of being without your phone) is one of the most common symptoms. Do you feel anxious if your phone is dead or if you leave it at home? If so you are suffering from this symptom. Start to combat it by deliberately leaving your phone at home and experiencing the world without it. Go to the shops, the park or to a friends house without it and see how you feel. Take back your independence step by step.
#4 Subconcious scrolling
In awkward situations, the modern go-to is to take out your phone and get lost down a scroll-hole. Even without consciously deciding to, we open our phones and instinctively click- often on social media. This passive consumption is bad for us, without engagement we are simply viewing others’ lives and losing the positives of connection. Delete apps you find yourself wasting time on, or regularly move them around your phone screen, so that there is one small layer of friction between you and the mindless activity. Introduce hurdles to stop it merely being instinctive.
Perhaps the worst symptom of phone addiction, phubbing, is the action of snubbing someone by your phone activity. We all know how it feels to be on the receiving end of less than half of someone’s attention but we all do it. If you’re regularly ignoring your loved ones in favour of your phone you may need to reconsider your actions. Make a resolution not to phub in future. If the phone activity is so vital, excuse yourself and return to the conversation with your full attention. One way to ensure this is to leave your phone in a box or pocket for mealtimes, and whenever you are spending time with loved ones.
Keep reviewing these 5 symptoms to help you to work out the level of your potential phone addiction – and use our tips to help you log-off more.
If you’re struggling with phone addiction check out our new 6 week Digital Detox Online Course for more detailed information, curated content and direct support. Use the code NOW-50 for 50% off until October 7th 2020.