You're probably one of those people who have their smartphone time displayed every day. iOS and Android now do this automatically. How many hours were you on your smartphone? Probably a bit frightening.
Since its invention, we have integrated the smartphone more and more into our lives. An electronic anklet that can be used to locate us at any time, at any time. The probability of a person leaving the house without a smartphone is very low. Some have already asked the question: Has man already become a combination of man and machine? We seem to like the connection.
What is boredom? Modern man hardly knows boredom in his life. No matter where you are: at the supermarket checkout, on the train, in the waiting room, if you don't know what to do, you pull out your smartphone and keep yourself busy.
More and more people feel uncomfortable without their smartphone. The ability to consume unlimited information at any time has captivated us all. More and more people are developing an addiction to their smartphone. Smartphone addiction can have serious consequences for physical and mental health.
What are the physical and mental consequences of smartphone addiction?
Aside from the classic characteristics of addiction, which you can read more about here, smartphone addiction has a number of physical and mental consequences. Psychologically, anxiety and depression are amplified. Memory and recall degrade. Our brain changes its structure. Impulsive behavior and insomnia increase significantly.
All of these consequences of smartphone addiction are still reversible if treated early. The longer the addiction lasts, the harder it becomes to stop again. Prevention is the best protection.
How can you prevent smartphone addiction?
One of the most effective prevention measures is cell phone-free times during the day. In our highly productive phase in the morning until lunchtime and in the evening through the night, the mobile phone may be switched off or in flight mode. It is very important here to keep the cell phone out of sight and reach. Even a switched off mobile phone in sight reduces the concentration and productivity considerably.
In addition to cell phone-free time from the evening until noon the following day, you should also get into the habit of refraining from using your smartphone in the presence of other people. The smartphone has no place at mealtimes or when spending time with the family.
How can I recognise a smartphone addiction?
To be able to recognize a smartphone addiction for sure, there are several signs that point to it. The more of these symptoms that apply, the higher the likelihood of a smartphone addiction existing. The sooner you recognize a cell phone addiction, the easier and faster the cure will be.
1. no cell phone - there is no such thing!
Your life no longer works without your smartphone. Try to remember not to take your smartphone with you in the morning. Does this cause you anxiety and discomfort?
If this symptom is accompanied by high smartphone use and you are always using your phone, then there is a very high chance that you have an addiction. Always using means, for example, in the toilet, at the cash register, in the company of friends and family.
2. emotional relationship to the mobile phone
How did you feel after your last social media post? Did you feel good or did you feel bad? Maybe it was depending on the reaction to the post did it get many likes? Letting your emotional feelings and self-esteem be defined by your phone is the first clear sign of smartphone addiction.
3. longer and longer and more and more often
Are you increasing the intensity of use from your smartphone over time? Your smartphone is taking up a bigger and bigger part of your life. Other activities are decreasing.
4. decreasing interest in offline activities
Your life is shifting from the real world to the online world. Intense smartphone use is pushing other activities out of your life. Is your time on your phone more important than going to the gym?
5. social isolation from fellow human beings
Despite what may be intense interaction in the digital world, you feel lonely. Away from communication on your smartphone, you intentionally reduce real contact with family and friends.
6. suppression of negative effects
However, you no longer notice the many negative effects, and if you do, they are suppressed. The connection to a normal usage behavior is increasingly missing. Several hours of the day on the smartphone - quite normal. Also hints from the private environment are suppressed and ignored.
7. unsuccessful attempts of withdrawal
You are aware that your mobile phone use is not normal, so you try to change something. On your own, you fall off the wagon again and again and do not manage to permanently normalize your use. Unsuccessful withdrawal attempts are a massive warning sign and a hint to think about outside help.
8. negative emotions from using
Actually, using makes you sad. Again and again you realize what you are doing with your life time. Even though you are aware that the intense smartphone use is harming you and making you sad, you still keep doing it. You keep using your smartphone against your will.
9. secret use of the mobile phone
Maybe you are embarrassed to be on your phone for so long. You look for excuses and cover up your intensive smartphone use. For example, you go to the bathroom for intensive use, which you don't want to do at the table. Alternatively, faking study sessions that are instead used for social media.
9. mood enhancer mobile phone
When you're feeling down, you reach for your phone. After a few minutes or hours on your Instagram and Twitter feed, you no longer feel your sadness. This is where you give up control of your mood to your phone. A better idea would be to seek contact with other people in the offline world.
10. compulsive use
You might know it, you open your phone without knowing what you want to do. A few apps are quickly opened haphazardly. This compulsive using often occurs in situations of boredom. Whether it's at the checkout, in the supermarket, in the bathroom, at the bus stop, or on the train. If you open your eyes, you will see numerous people around you struggling with this symptom.
11. fear of missing out
The Fear of missing out, also more commonly known as FOMO, describes checking your phone regularly out of fear of missing messages. Instead of taking a break from the mobile phone, all channels are checked regularly. The first opportunity is taken to get an overabundance of information.
12. consequences for health
After some time, smartphone addiction also has health consequences. Lack of sleep is one of the most common consequences because the mobile phone is used late into the night. In addition, back problems and vision problems from focusing on the small display often occur.
13. loss of the sense of time
Actually, you just wanted to do something on your smartphone, but now 2 hours have passed and you don't know where the time has gone. If this happens to you more often, you should think about your usage habits.
Conclusion - Am I smartphone dependent?
Now the question arises whether you are addicted to smartphones. If several of the symptoms apply, it is very likely that you are addicted. Use the preventive measures, such as a smartphone free time and activities in the real world or get help from friends.