Smartphone Addiction: Signs and Tips to Beat It

smartphone addiction

Smartphone addiction often goes unnoticed against the stark backdrop of drug, alcohol, and gambling dependencies. However, in a world bound together by digital devices, this phenomenon has become increasingly common in modern society.

Addictions are complex and serious concerns. They can destroy lives and tear apart families. Anyone who has ever had to contend with this sort of issue knows the torment encapsulated in the struggle. Indeed, the impact of technology on dependency cannot be understated. It has fueled a new wave of troublesome addictions.

As humans, we must never lose our sense of empathy for those dealing with an addiction problem. An expression of compassion to someone in the throes of dependency can have an impact. Smartphone addiction may not seem as extreme as other addictions, but to those who struggle, it is. We should not minimize the problem but rather help those dealing with it.

Let’s take a look at some signs of smartphone addiction. Also, we will review some tips that will help you in overcoming this dependency.

Smartphone Addiction


Smartphones are fun. They offer the ability to communicate with others while connecting to the internet, apps, and games. Anyone who uses one will find it effortless getting lost for hours while accessing all the entertaining features. Unfortunately, the issue becomes when the time spent on your device exceeds the time that you spend experiencing actual reality.

This technology is a recent innovation. However, a current analysis indicates that in 2019, there are more than five billion mobile devices in the world. Furthermore, it suggests that half of them are smartphones.

There is research that proposes the incessant need to check and use your device is similar to gambling addiction. An average person may check their phone up to 52 times per day. An addict will do this more. A smartphone is handy, but constant use leads down the slippery slope of unhealthy addiction.

Obsessive usage

obsessive usage of smartphone
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One visible sign of any addiction can be characterized as the need to use more and more while attempting to reach the same level of satisfaction. Also, knowing that you are negatively affected by the activity and yet continuing with it is a steadfast signal that you are hooked. The brain of a smartphone addict follows the same distorted thinking pattern.

Do you have a constant inclination to check your phone, check your messages, and fiddle with its features? If so, you have excellent reasons to step away from the smartphone world. Addiction will undoubtedly make it more difficult.

Additionally, you will probably experience anxiety when you attempt to reduce or restrict constant access to your device. These sorts of nervous emotions make it hard for a smartphone addict to stay away from their source of high.

Social impact

Remember also. Your relationships are being affected by your inability to detach yourself from your smartphone.

There are significant social signs that your reliance on your phone is unhealthy. Primarily, the negative repercussions on the connections you have with your family and friends.

Do you struggle with distractions during family obligations? Maybe you experience agitation when unable to access your phone as you spend time with friends. Perhaps, you find yourself isolating and not meeting new people in real-time. If this sounds like you, then you have an issue.

Again, the need to always be on your smart device yields the same sort of effect on social relations as any other addiction.

Huge bills

bills and smartphone
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The data overages that come with excessive smartphone use will cost you a lot of money.

We all know the expense of online data usage. It is always frustrating getting a cell phone statement and realizing that you accidentally surpassed your data limit. Most people are extra careful regarding data usage because of this fear of an outrageous bill.

However, an addict will engage in this risky behavior regardless of such fear. Thus, the possibility of incurring a massive bill is genuine for those who need to be on their phone obsessively. Smartphone addiction can quickly and easily put you in a serious financial hole.

Withdrawals


The withdrawal symptoms experienced when attempting to wean off smartphone usage are not imaginary.

There are real withdrawal effects that come from combatting a smartphone addiction. Restlessness, irritability, sleep issues, the inability to focus, and a strong desire to access your phone are troubling experiences. However, the alternative is to sink further into an unhealthy and destructive habit.

It’s not realistic to suggest not using your device at all. It may be necessary for your work and other vital personal needs. However, not accessing social media and other features should be a primary goal. Dramatically reducing usage will have a positive effect on your life. The key to sticking to your plan is getting through the withdrawal symptoms.

Tips to Overcoming Your Addiction


reading books
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There are several strategies that you can employ that will help you beat this addiction.

There are useful self-help books to read, including workbooks. They will help further educate yourself on the perils of this dependency. You might also consider that reading a book has been proven to reduce depression. It cuts stress, and it will reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s as you age. Thus, reading can ease some of the adverse withdrawal effects.

Aside from reading, let’s review some other useful tips that can help you overcome the need to check your phone regularly.

Actualization

Recognizing that you have an issue is the critical first step in recovery. The process of acceptance is no different from any other dependency.

The first tip, accepting that your addiction is affecting you in hurtful ways, is a good start. Indeed, this actualization that you need to make changes to your life is going to be difficult. However, remind yourself, there is a beautiful, big world out there to explore and enjoy! Isolating yourself in the cyber-world of your smartphone is only giving you the illusion of happiness.

The real world is beautiful. It’s full of fun if you choose to find it. This article doesn’t mean to downplay how hard it is to come to terms with this addiction. Instead, it is a reminder that there is an exciting life beyond the confines of your smartphone.

Practical solutions

Consider that you have many substantial and pragmatic options. The following useful fixes will help you overcome smartphone addiction.

woman sleeping in the bed
Image via Pexels

Do not use your phone in bed. Ensure that all social media apps are uninstalled. Eliminate the notification signals that might entice you to check your phone. Give yourself less reason to use the device. Your smartphone will gradually become less addictive.

Reduce your usage by just making calls and messaging. Track your use with tools from Google and Apple. Review when you access your phone every week. Figure out if there are patterns to your usage.

By determining these patterns, you can learn to establish strategies to avoid being vulnerable at difficult times.

Develop hobbies

Develop your interests and give yourself distractions. Find some happiness. Do some research about meetup groups or sports activities in your area. (The irony that you will find these things using your phone, is not lost on this writer). Nevertheless, looking up fun things to do in your city will help you.

Go to the gym. You will find that exercise releases endorphins that give you a natural high. You can travel. Explore your town or go abroad. Get out and participate in the world. You will find rewards. Meet new friends and reacquaint yourself with old ones. Get to know people. Don’t just make superficial online connections.

hiking
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Go dancing, go hiking, explore your talents, paint, or go to the movies. There are so many exciting activities in which you can participate. You will develop a greater sense of yourself and grow as a person. Furthermore, you will find that your hobbies act as natural stress reducers.

Log Off


The technological age has brought many incredible innovations. Modernization has improved our lives for the better. However, it has also rendered us unnecessarily reliant on many devices. Smartphone addiction is just like any other addiction. We are conditioned to feel pleasurable effects when we get our fix.

However, try to resist the immediate hit of false happiness. Think long-term. Do you want your life to be defined by your smartphone usage? Get out and experience the world. Also, develop your hobbies and improve your self-awareness.

The smartphone is a useful and helpful device. Although, as we have seen, its usage can come at a steep price. Indeed, there are many distracting, pointless apps and features on a smartphone serving to enable your addiction. Recognize them. Don’t get caught up in the absurdity of the sights and sounds of a smartphone.

I would love to hear your comments in the comment section! Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts and opinions!

Featured image source: Pexels

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