Many new surveys have shown that smartphone addiction is on the rise, especially amongst teenagers. These surveys demonstrate how the use of the internet and smartphones is causing harm to our minds. Have you heard of the term Nomophobia? It is a twenty-first-century term for not being able to live without your cell phone or smart device, aka phone addiction.
Do You Have Nomophobia?
A recent quiz was released to measure your technology addiction. In this survey, you rank on a scale 1 (do not agree at all) to 7 (strongly agree). You can find the quiz here and see where you rank for yourself.
According to the creator of the quiz, Caglar Yildrim, an assistant professor at Oswego State University, a score of 20 or below means that you are not addicted; If you score between 21-60, it means you’re mildly nomophobic; and a score of 61-99 means that you and your phone cannot go without one another.
Yildrim states that, “It is important to be cautious of your score especially if you see it beginning to affect your daily life.” Often times, students will find it difficult to focus or study because they are worried about what is happening on their phone. There are plenty of other ways to determine if your smartphone is beginning to take control of your life.
Signs You Are Addicted To Your Cell Phone
- Carry your phone everywhere you go and keep it within eyesight.
- You always text, and never take phone calls.
- Phone battery doesn’t last an entire day.
- You are anxious when not on your phone.
- Constantly check your notifications.
- Lose track of time while on your smartphone.
- You have trouble sleeping and/or blurry vision.
- Feel like you’re missing out when not on your phone.
- Act impulsively when it comes to your phone.
- Use your phone to ignore others.
When your phone begins to take a toll on your relationships with friends and family, that is when you know that you have become addicted to your cell phone. Teenagers are using apps like Snapchat or Instagram when they are right next to the person they are talking to. You begin to realize that you are missing out on the things that are taking place around you because you are always on your phone.
How Your Mobile Phone Can Impact Your Life
It is proven that people who score high on this quiz tend to avoid face to face interactions, which results in a detrimental effect on their social life.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mobile phone use is to blame for many distracted driving accidents. Pew Research backs up this claim by stating that 47% percent of texting adults have sent or read a text while driving. Other studies have shown that pedestrian injuries walking across the street are increasing due to phone addiction.
In specific states, they have created laws stating that you are not allowed to use or check your phone while you’re driving. We may not realize it, but we are on our phones all of the time in the car, walking down the street, and at work. You need to make sure that you are using your cell phone when required and at the appropriate times.
How To Stop Your Cell Phone Addiction
If you want to break this addiction to your cell phone, you are going to have to manage your phone use. New applications, like Digital Wellbeing, have been introduced to show you where you are spending most of your activity. This app even has features to set limits for the amount of time you can spend on each application daily.
Don’t Use Your Phone Before Bed
If you sleep with your phone next to your bed, leave it in the kitchen or somewhere you can’t get to it. Your phone gives off something called blue light which can damage our cells in our eyes and prevent you from sleeping.
Turn-Off Unnecessary Notifications
Turn off notifications that are not family or work-related. By doing this, you are eliminating distractions that are not conducive to your day. Often times when you have so many notifications, you begin to think you are getting a phone call or text, but you really have no notifications at all.
Use A Phone Tracking App
Phone tracking apps are proven to be extremely useful for collecting information about how often you are using your phone. You are able to collect data off your phone such as screen time, phone calls, photos, app usage, and many other useful features. By determining what you do on your phone most, you can determine what app usage you can cut back on.
Use Social Media Sparingly
A major factor that takes place in breaking your addiction is social media. You need to make sure you are using apps like Facebook and Instagram responsibly. Often while using social media, we lose track of time. If you move these apps off of your home screen and set limits to the time spent on them, you are closer to stopping your smartphone addiction. Or remove them entirely and only use them on specific days of the week.
Delete Apps You Don’t Use
By deleting the apps that you are not using, it creates a less cluttered home screen. By having less apps, it will deter you from using your phone as often. Many times, we see an app and just look through it because we want to. You will find that with less apps, you will have more time in your day.
Take Up A New Hobby
Taking up a new hobby is an excellent way to get your mind off your cell phone. Learning a new language, cooking, exercising, drawing, reading, etc. These are just a few ideas of things you can start doing to keep you off your phone. You will see by experimenting with new hobbies, your phone usage will begin to decrease.
Don’t Use Your Phone When With Others
It is rude to use your phone while with other people. We all have that one friend who is always texting away when you’re talking, and you wonder if they are really listening to you. I have even played some games with friends where you place your phone in the middle of the table to increase conversation amongst the group.
All of these tips can help you know how to break your cell phone addiction. Take this quiz to determine if you have developed an addiction to your smartphone. This is a real thing, and people need to become more aware of how this can take a toll on our lives.
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