Addiction is usually associated with drugs and similar substances, but addiction to smartphones is definitely new. While most people believe that they are somewhat addicted to smartphones, none could have thought addiction to smartphones could be as strong as drugs. New study from Baylor University claims that it is indeed possible.
Professor James Robert, who was also the head of the research team, says that addiction is possible to behaviors and that habitual smartphone (or even just plain cell phones) users can begin to respond and depend to their phones in a way that is similar to how drug addicts show dependency towards addictive drugs. For example, being away from their phone can make people feel anxious and jumpy, just like withdrawal symptoms from drug use. Even a dead battery can make people restless and fretful.
More than 75 percent of people get a mini-mental failure when their phone is missing, while 14 percent are desperately unhappy and 7 percent feel sick
He said that most phone users find themselves relieved when using their phones and believe cell-phones can lift their moods. Another similarity is that the same level of enjoyment from their smartphones requires additional usage of the phone just like drugs.
Professor James based his criteria for addiction on conflict, euphoria, relapse, salience, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. He says that “Smartphones should be forbidden in certain places at home and work.” The same study also quotes that on average, men use their smartphones for 8.5 hours while women spend 10 hours per day using their smartphones.
Just like drug users, smartphones users become so hooked up to their phones that they become distant from their family, friends and work. These “smartphone addicts” always want to check Facebook one more time, play a little more Clash of Clans or something and even become unaware of their surroundings. We have all seen people walking like zombies around roads, bumping into people or causing car accidents. Even while driving cars, people completely lose focus when their phone rings.
On average, men use their smartphones for 8.5 hours while women spend 10 hours per day using their smartphones
An online survey by Iowa University had previously reported that more than 75 percent of people get a mini-mental failure when their phone is missing, while 14 percent are desperately unhappy and 7 percent feel sick.
Smartphone addiction is called Nomophobia. If you can’t spend some time away from your smartphone then it’s almost certain that you are addicted to it. If you want to work on fixing it, then you can use the very smartphones that caused it to fix the problem. Apps like FlipD, Moment, Offtime and BreakFree can help you let go of your addiction or even control it. Not everybody is addicted, people who haven’t seen any effect on their personal or professional relationships are certainly doing fine.
According to Psychotherapist Robert Weiss, these apps do help. He says after you identify what you crave for in your smartphones, you can manage them. He states that “using an app to calm yourself, distract yourself, soothe yourself is not the same as getting away from tech, but boy it’s a great way to take a few minutes out of your day and find some peace.”
What do you think? Do you feel addicted to your smartphones and feel worried without them? Let us know in the comments below.