Internet access has turned the world into one giant marketplace. There’s little you can’t find online, which has made everything so convenient.
But easy internet access, almost everywhere, isn’t the problem.
Cell phones are.
Unlike computers, smartphones are a crazy leap in technology that wouldn’t be imaginable a couple of decades back.
Cell phones are at the center of our existence, except the consequences are piling up. Almost every handheld device today has internet access, which is not just convenient but also disruptive and addictive.
Most people don’t think cell phone addiction is anything serious or an addiction at all.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Reality of Cell Phone Addiction
Cell phone addiction is as real as addiction gets.
Research shows that most Americans own a smartphone that provides full access to the internet.
Most cell phone owners have difficulty parting with their devices and usually end up checking them multiple times, even when they don’t have to.
However, compulsive use of smartphones for nothing besides gratification is a huge sign of dependence.
Signs of Cell Phone Addiction
Like any other form of addiction, cell phone addiction has undeniable telltale signs. If you wish to know whether you’ve developed mobile phone dependence or not, here are the signs:
- You feel the need to check on your cell phone constantly
- You spend a more time on your phone than on anything else
- You become irritated or restless if you’re restricted from using your phone
- You stay up late to browse on your phone
- You’re having difficulty keeping up with school or work
- You have difficulties forming or maintaining physical relationships
- You have no control over your desire to spend time on your phone
Effects of Cell Phone Addiction
If you do have a cell phone addiction, you’re at risk of encountering these serious effects:
- Decreased Productivity
Excessive use of your smartphone will affect your productivity. When you’re addicted, you’ll find it challenging to control the amount of time you spend on your device. You’ll find yourself checking on your phone and distracting yourself now and then.
One survey found that about 70 percent of Americans with smartphones keep them close while at work. The same survey indicated that 20 percent of employers feel like cellphones are responsible for poor work performance.
- Eye and Neck Problems
Spending loads of time staring at a screen comes with its consequences. The constant strain you put on your eyes causes irritation and headaches. If you keep up the habit, it may lead to more serious eye problems down the line. There’s also the issue of bad posture, which leads to neck and back pains.
- Bacterial Infections
Like money, mobile phones are fast becoming perfect channels for bacterial transmission. If you have the phone in your hand at all times, then you’re touching it as well as everything else.
- Car Accidents
Driving while on the phone is one of the leading causes of accidents. While many people think shooting a quick text isn’t a big deal, the effect a phone has is just as bad as driving under the influence because it engages your mind, hand, and eyes.
With all states having restrictions on distracted driving, you could face legal consequences if you’re responsible for an accident. If you’re a victim, you’re also entitled to compensation, something a car accident attorney can assist with.
What to Do About Cell Phone Addiction
It’s not impossible to get your internet and cell phone use under control. But it requires taking strict measures, which can be challenging since you’re dealing with an addiction. Some of the steps you could take to address cell phone addiction include:
- Recognize that you have an addiction, and it’s disrupting your life
- Look for underlying issues that trigger cell phone dependence, such as loneliness
- Make it difficult to access the apps and sites that consume most of your time
- Replace your phone with physical activities that take you outdoors
- Seek treatment, whether it’s through mindfulness or seeing a therapist for behavioral adjustment
Most people can’t imagine life without mobile phones because technology is woven into every aspect of our lives. But the good that comes with these devices doesn’t negate the bad.
Every year, there are over 1.5 million crashes as a result of cell phone use while driving. It does take such statistics to realize that cellphone addiction is real.