Smartphone Addiction: A Growing Concern
Our love for smartphones and other electronic devices is growing at an alarming rate. While most of us enjoy the convenience that these devices offer, there are some who have become wholly addicted. People everywhere are turning to their phones as a constant source of entertainment, distraction, and even validation.
If you are like me, you may have managed to avoid this addictive pattern. To reinforce this positive habit, I have listed below 20 ways in which smartphone addicts and non-addicts differ. I hope this article will help to shed light on the problem of smartphone addiction and encourage us all to be more mindful in our use of electronic devices.
1. You use your phone for emergencies and urgent messages only.
The primary function of the smartphone is to provide communication and access to vital information. An addict, however, often uses their phone for unnecessary tasks such as social media, games or browsing. As non-addicts, we use our phones for legitimate and practical reasons.
2. You do not know what nomophobia means.
Nomophobia, or the fear of being without a phone, is a clear indication of the level of addiction people have developed towards their phones. Non-addicts understand the importance of having a phone but are not attached to it to the point of fearing being without it.
3. You can parent your children without being attached to your phone.
The Swedish government has found in studies that children have felt neglected by parents who are always preoccupied with their smartphones. As non-addicts, we are present for our children and can effectively manage our family lives without the constant distraction of our phones.
4. You know when and how to switch off.
For non-addicts, switching off means switching off from technology and work stress. We lead a more balanced lifestyle and understand the importance of relaxing and unwinding.
5. You rarely suffer from insomnia.
By not bringing our phones into the bedroom, we protect ourselves from exposure to the artificial blue light emitted by smartphones. This helps us maintain the necessary balance required for a healthy sleep pattern.
6. You will never need to detox.
Addiction to electronic devices is a growing problem worldwide, and in some parts of Asia, it has become so prevalent that governments have had to step in. However, non-addicts will never need to detox or seek therapy because they are already mindful in their use of technology.
7. You can chat with your family and/or significant other at mealtimes.
The dinner table can be a place of reconnecting and bonding, free from distraction. However, for smartphone addicts, mealtimes often become a time to look at their devices while eating, completely ignoring the people around them.
8. You never use your smartphone in the shower or when having sex.
Smartphone addiction is so severe these days that people have begun taking their devices into the most private of spaces. Non-addicts know that there is a natural separation between our private and public lives.
9. You dream about phone-free zones.
We realize that constant connectivity is not always essential, and sometimes we need a break to recharge. Non-addicts can imagine a world where people can enjoy their life and surroundings without being dragged down by technology.
10. You will never suffer from text claw or cell phone elbow.
Technology has given rise to new medical conditions like “Text Claw” and “Cell Phone Elbow. However, non-addicts don’t suffer from these conditions because we balance our phone use on a daily basis.
11. You still know how to have a real conversation.
We engage in real conversations without constant interruption by technology. We are interested in listening to what people have to say, free from the distraction and compulsion to check our devices.
12. You will never suffer from text neck.
Technology has wreaked havoc on our physical well-being. “Text neck” is a medical problem brought on by excessive time spent hunched over devices. Non-addicts maintain balance in their physical and mental health.
13. Your eyesight will remain in good shape.
Prolonged exposure to smartphones can lead to eye fatigue, eye strain and headaches. Non-addicts can control our use of the device and protect our eyesight from unnecessary harm.
14. You do not suffer from checking habits.
Smartphone addiction is also characterized by a constant urge to check for notifications routinely. Non-addicts know the importance of a focused and productive life.
15. Your relationship is not at risk.
Relationships require constant communication and involvement, attention which can be disturbed by the addiction to electronic devices. Non-addicts give value to our real-life relationships and work to maintain them.
16. You know how to manage your time.
Effective time management is not possible if one is addicted to the devices that clutter their time. Non-addicts can manage our time more efficiently by using the phone appropriately.
17. You are less likely to suffer from depression.
Excessive Smartphone use has been found to be associated with depression and emotional instability. Non-addicts have better control over their lives and are not as affected by the negative effects of smartphones.
18. You have cell phone etiquette.
Non-addicts understand the importance of being polite and are conscious about not checking phones in prohibited places because they respect others’ privacy and the importance of a peaceful environment.
19. You appreciate the small things.
Non-addicts appreciate the little moments of life more. They have time to unwind and socialize with the people that mean most to them.
20. You value the world around you.
Non-addicts understand the importance of human interaction and the world outside technology. They value the outdoors or real-life interaction more than a virtual world.
It is essential to maintain a healthy balance in one’s life. With smartphones becoming more prevalent, we must learn to regulate our use of technology to ensure we stay mindful of our wellbeing. By avoiding smartphone addiction, we can appreciate our lives, relationships, and surroundings in a much better manner.