If you are concerned that your cell phone use may be out of control, consider these troubling signs of addiction:
- You’ve tried to cut down on your phone time with limited success.
- You lose all sense of time when using your smartphone.
- You turn to your smartphone when you’re in a bad mood, or when you’re anxious, depressed, tired or bored.
- You use your smartphone to withdraw from the world.
- You experience irritability, anxiety, panic or other signs of withdrawal when you can’t use your phone, even for a short time.
- You spend more time on your phone than talking face-to-face with real people.
- You sleep with your phone next to your bed or under your pillow.
- You repeatedly check your social medial status.
- Your keep your phone next to your plate at meals.
- You take your phone to the bathroom.
- You email, text or tweet while driving.
- You mindlessly check your smartphone throughout the day, even when you have important things to do.
- Your cell phone use is threatening your jobs or relationships.
How to Break a Smartphone Addiction
Breaking a smartphone addiction is possible, but it requires discipline. Here are some ideas that may be helpful.
Don’t take your phone to bed. Don’t check it in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.
Establish certain phone-free times every day. For that period of time, turn off your phone or put it in a drawer. Turn off all notifications and resist the urge to peek.
Get rid of time-sucking, useless apps and addictive games.
Limit your time on social media.
Don’t take your smartphone into restaurants, movies, or other events.
Install an app that filters email and other communications and blocks games and social media. Some apps even track your phone usage so you see how much time you actually spend on your Smartphone. Others set daily limits or lock your phone for a pre-set period of time
If your Smartphone use is out of control, consider spending some time in counseling, or at a drug and alcohol rehab facility that can help you address the problem. Counseling can help you identify underlying problems that may be contributing to your addiction.