Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?

This is a hard one to admit, although I bet if most of us are being truthful – the answer is yes. Whether we are fans of taking selfies or photographing our food, social media junkies, news hounds, or binge watchers, chances are we do a lot of that stuff on our phones.

I can’t watch sports without my phone in my hand, there’s just too many pauses in the action between plays and I have to be doing something: looking up stats, checking the weather, finding out why a player is sitting on the bench. Although I have to say, sporting events are one of the few times the tv is even on at my place – especially since I canceled my cable.

I am a binge watcher. This is something that I don’t even pretend to deny. I stream tv shows and have watched several all the way through more than once. I’ll often pick a series that I know has already ended just so I can watch every episode from beginning to end. Even if I am not sure how I feel about the show, I will watch the whole thing. With my phone, I feel like I rarely have to stop watching.

There’s also the apeal of having any question answered in just a few seconds. Whether I’m trying to convert a measurement while I’m cooking or attempting to prove someone wrong during an argument, I am always asking the internet something. I am also one of those people who is good with faces but bad with names. So I’ll watch something and know I’ve seen the actor or actress in something else, and it will drive me crazy until I look up their name and find out where it is I recognize them from. I have been tempted to look people up even while I’m at the movies!

I have friends that are social media addicts. They have all those notifications turned on and every time one makes a sound, they’re jumping to see what it is. I’ve seen it happen even while they’re driving! Does it really matter so much that your ex liked a photo of your lunch that you need to know while you’re still on your way home from the restaurant? If this is you, then you’re probably addicted to your phone.

Then there are the app junkies. No matter where they are, they’re trying to beat their latest score or pass the next level of whatever game they are obsessed with at the moment. Waiting in the doctor’s office? Play a couple of levels of Angry Birds. Boring train commute? Try some brain-teasing puzzle games. There’s an app out there for everyone, and each one feels more addicting than the last. And when you aren’t playing, you’re being sent push notifications with incentives to get you to pick your phone back up and play some more!

I’ve learned that I need to turn all notifications except for a select few completely off. It is way less tempting to look at the screen that way. I am also trying, after a certain point at night, to just put my phone on the charger and walk away. I don’t think I could ever just quit cold turkey, but setting aside some phone-free time each day has helped a lot!