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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How To Diagnose And Defeat Smartphone Addiction


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Every September is National Recovery Month which was created to bring awareness about drug addiction and recovery. When we think of addiction, we normally think of drugs and alcohol as substances that people become addicted to. However, more and more people are becoming addicted to their smartphones. According to The Addiction Center, smartphone addiction is, "...the obsessive use of a smartphone. The behavioral addiction is often dubbed as “nomophobia,” or the fear of being without a mobile device. According to the PEW Research Center, 67% of smartphone owners have admitted to checking their phones for calls or messages when their phones don’t vibrate or ring. This is one major sign of cell phone dependence and should serve as a warning to cell phone owners. If you have family members who are becoming more and more obsessed with their smartphones, they may be dealing with smartphone addiction. Too much smartphone use can have a negative effect on the human brain, not to mention other things that can cause issues in the addicted person's life. Here's what you need to know.


Signs Of Phone Addiction. Like most people in our digital age, you probably have valid reasons to spend time on your devices. Social media, email, and video conferencing are things that can keep us tied to our smart devices. However, if you start finding yourself unable to cut back from using your devices, you should consider getting help from a doctor or a counselor. Too much smartphone use can interfere with your sleep beause the blue light from these devices can cause a reduction in melatonin. Melatonin is the drug your body uses to tell your body to go to sleep. Other signs include irrata You also need to keep an eye on your kids, tweens, and teens, as they can also become addicted to smartphones. Younger minds have a harder time putting down devices as their brains aren't developed enough to know when to stop. To make matters worse for you and your family members, games and apps for smartphones are designed to be 'always on'. Smartphone alerts for your apps and games that have no ending are the things that can keep you on your devices 24/7.


What are The Symptoms

A smartphone addiction can lead to many different problems. They are:

  • Preoccupation with smartphone use.

  • Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.

  • Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.

  • Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.

  • Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.

  • Anger.

  • Tension.

  • Depression.

  • Irritability.

  • Restlessness.

If you find yourself or other family members constantly looking at your phone, you may be suffering from smartphone addiction. You might even find yourself ignoring friends and family because you are on your phone. Not only is this a poor habit, but it also results in a person's mind being overloaded by constant phone use. This, in turn, can lead to an individual's loss of focus, which can lead to various mental health problems.


How Can You Prevent Smartphone Addiction? When you start down the road to smartphone addiction recovery, you need to assess the extent of your smartphone addiction. One of the first steps you need to take is to figure out what emotional triggers make you want to use your smartphone. Once you identify those triggers, you can start to work to create solutions that will help. Also, look for healthier alternatives to turn to rather than using your smartphone. You should also keep track of the times you use your phone to help you curb your usage. One final thing you can do is to set up no smartphone zones in your home and assign specific days when you and your family don't reach for their devices.


What Are My Treatment Options? If none of the above steps help, you probably need to seek professional help from a doctor or therapist. You can also try a self-help guide or a digital detox program. Smartphone addiction is similar to other behavioral addictions, and it is important to recognize the signs of problem use. The main symptoms of problem use include loss of control and real damage to your life.


Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to help you recover from smartphone addiction. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@burtonkelso.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.


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