Cell Phone Addiction
Table of Contents
- Smartphone Addiction Facts
- Signs and Symptoms of Smartphone Addiction
- Teens and Cell Phone Addiction
- How to Help a Loved One With a SmartPhone Addiction
Smartphone Addiction Facts
Although cell phones allow individuals to have unlimited access to information and to connect with others in a way otherwise thought impossible, there are many harmful and disturbing effects of smartphone dependence. Cell phone addiction, sometimes referred to as problematic mobile phone use, is a behavioral addiction thought to be similar to that of an Internet, gambling, shopping, or video game addiction and leads to severe impairment or distress in one’s life.
- In a study conducted by Baylor University, cell phone addiction was linked to:1
- Impulsiveness and materialism.
- A preoccupation with material objects as opposed to intellectual, spiritual, or cultural values.
- The obsessive use of a smartphone has been compared to that of credit card misuse and compulsive buying.2
- Cell phones have become a representation of social status and thus, there is pressure to own the newest release and to have all of the best applications.
- People suffering from this condition oftentimes have what has been coined “nomophobia,” or the fear of being without one’s cell phone.
- Problematic cell phone users can develop a social media addiction as well, which has a number of harmful effects on the user, such as:3
- Impaired self-esteem.
- Impaired work performance.
- Interpersonal conflicts.
With the widespread accessibility of cell phones at a younger age now, teenagers are especially prone to developing an addiction to their cell phones or social media. Whether you or a loved one suffers from a cell phone addiction, there is hope for recovery.
Below are some more statistics associated with smartphone use:
- 60% of U.S. college students consider themselves to have a cell phone addiction.4
- 71% of people sleep with or next to their cell phones.5
- 35% of people think of their cell phones when they wake up while only 10% of people think of their significant others.5
- 44% of 18-24 year olds have fallen asleep with their phone in their hand.5
- 36% of people check their phones constantly, while 54% of young adults are checking constantly.5
- Nearly 40% of people never disconnect from cell phones, even while on vacation .5
- 44% of Americans say they couldn’t go a day without their mobile devices.5
Signs and Symptoms of Smartphone Addiction
Some major signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction include:
- Failed attempts to cut back on smartphone use.
- Loses track of time when using mobile phone.
- Uses cell phone in order to deal with unwanted emotions.
- Text neck.
- Digital eye strain.
Teens and Cell Phone Addiction
Teens are extremely vulnerable to developing a cell phone addiction. The human brain isn’t fully developed until about 25 years of age. Adolescents who become dependent on their smartphones could experience negative alterations in brain development.
- There is decreased brain connectivity in teens who suffer from a cell phone addiction.5
- Problems in the parts of the brain that are responsible for decision-making, impulse-control, and emotional regulation.
- Teens with a smartphone addiction are more likely to drink alcohol, use tobacco, and have poor diets.
- These teens may experience social isolation due to excessive cell phone use.
If you’re concerned about your teen’s problematic cell phone use, there are many different treatment options available. Call the number above to speak to a treatment specialist immediately.
How to Help a Loved One with a Smartphone Addiction
If you’ve been upset or frustrated by your loved one’s excessive phone use while in your presence, you are not alone.
Your loved one may suffer from a cell phone addiction or nomophobia, the fear of being without a mobile phone, if he or she exhibits these signs or symptoms:
- Appears anxious when phone battery is low.
- Panics if cell phone is misplaced or service is unavailable.
- Spends more time connecting online than connecting with people in real life.
- Sleeps with the smartphone on or under the pillow.
- Uses the phone in dangerous situations such as driving.
- Has his or her smartphone on the table during meals.
- Believes the cell phone to have rung or vibrated when it hasn’t.
This is not a complete list of signs and symptoms but it includes some of the common signs that a loved one may be suffering from a smartphone addiction. If you worry that your loved one’s cell phone use is problematic, don’t hesitate to call the number above to learn about recovery options.
Treatment for Addiction
There are various types of treatment for those with a cell phone addiction. This could be as simple as making rules for yourself and downloading apps on your phone to cut down usage. Or, for more severe cases, there are different therapy methods and treatment centers available.
- (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2015, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/materialism
- Cell Phone Addiction Similar to Compulsive Buying and Credit Card Misuse, According to Baylor Study. (2012, November 28). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=125458
- Andreassen, C. (2015). Online Social Network Site Addiction: A Comprehensive Review. Curr Addict Rep Current Addiction Reports, 2015(2), 175-184. doi:10.1007/s40429-015-0056-9
- Roberts, J., Yaya, L., & Manolis, C. (2014). The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 3(4), 254-265. doi:10.1556/JBA.3.2014.015
- Trends in Consumer Mobility Report. (2015). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/files/doc_library/additional/2015_BAC_Trends_in_Consumer_Mobility_Report.pdf