If you have come across this article, you have probably typed into Google, with your smartphone, “Signs I am addicted to my smartphone,” or “Am I addicted to my cell phone?” Chances are if you are researching signs to help distinguish if you are addicted, you have noticed there is a problem. Our cell phone answering service wants to help you in defining if you have a cell phone addiction, and then offer you solutions to overcome that cell phone addiction.
Addiction defined is, “The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.” According to the American Psychiatric Association, an addiction must meet at least 3 of the following criterias:
- Tolerance. Do you use your cell phone more and more over time?
- Withdrawal. When you are unable to use and/or check your cellphone, do you experience physical or emotional withdrawal? When you are unable to check your cellphone, do you experience anxiety, irritability or a constant yearning to check your phone?
- Limited Control. Do you check your cellphone more times than you would like or prefer? Do you check your phone even though you have not received an alert indicating a new notification, text message or incoming email? Do you regret how many times you check your phone or do you regret how long you spend on your cellphone each day?
- Negative Consequences. Do you continue to check and use your cellphone even if there are negative consequences in doing so? Negative consequences would include social or professional repercussions for checking your phones. Some examples may be your boss or supervisor having to talk to you about your cellphone use at work. Another example would be your significant other or family members having to talk to you about using your phone during personal or quality time.
- Neglected or Postponed Activities. Have you ever put off, postponed or delayed activities in order to use your cellphone? Are you continuously late to personal or social appointments because you were checking or playing on your cellphone? Are you constantly neglecting people around you in a social setting because you are in your cellphone and not interacting with the people around you?
- Significant Time or Energy Spent. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning or recovering from the constant use of your cellphone? Do you spend a big portion of your day wondering if you have a new notification on your cellphone when you cannot check it? Do you check your phone under tables, in bathrooms or out of the sightline of others? Do you purposely downplay your cellphone use when describing your actual use to others?
- Desire to Cut Down. Have you ever thought about cutting down your cellphone use? Have you ever made attempts to prolong checking your mobile phone throughout the day and control how many times you pick it up and were unsuccessful? Do you think cutting down your cellphone use would give you more time in the day to do other, more productive tasks?
Be Honest With Yourself
If you honestly assess your daily cellphone use with the above general criteria for addiction, you should be able to ascertain if you have an addiction to your cellphone. It may be scary to admit, but maybe you do have an addiction to your cellphone and have heard accusations of overusing from your friends, family and colleagues.
Back in 2013, a study by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers found the average user checks their phone 150 times per day. “People check their phones, on average, 23 times a day for messaging, 22 times for voice calls and 18 times to get the time.” The study further states that the average user checks their phone nine times in one hour!
Since addictions are very personal and vary from person to person, you cannot say that you line up with the average cellphone user; so you don’t have a problem. The main indication of having an addiction is that the activity you are addicted to is causing problems or having negative impacts on your professional or personal lifestyle.
How to Stop Using Your Cellphone So Much
Our cell phone answering service isn’t saying you have to quit cold turkey and toss your mobile phone out the window. We are suggesting that you first realize you may have a small or large addiction to your cellphone and develop a plan to control your daily use.
Buzzfeed’s Article, “22 Ways to Break Up With Your Cell Phone,” gives you some great tips on how to stop using your cellphone so much. Tracking your cell phone usage, we think, is the first step to controlling your addiction.
We suggest installing the CheckyApp on your phone. This app actually gives you reports letting you know how often you are checking your cell phone. We think once you see the number of times you actually check your phone, you can be better equipped to make a plan to control your cravings.