It should come as no surprise that, according to recent studies, that U.S. smartphone users spend an average five hours on their phone each day. While that amount of time may seem steep, consider your own smartphone usage.
From the quick checks in the middle of the night or while brushing your teeth in the morning, how much time do you think you’re spending on your phone, in total? Have friends and loved ones accused you of being “addicted” to your smartphone?
Rather than getting defensive, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your smartphone usage and some of the signs that may point to a dependency on your phone.
Interferes With Productivity and Face to Face Relationships
Living in a tech-centric world, we often need to rely on our smartphone to “stay connected” at all times of the day and while on the go. While this might be crucial if you’re “on call” for work or are expecting a conference call, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps may be less important.
A common sign that may indicate that you are addicted to your smartphone is if the time you spend on your phone interferes with your work productivity or even strains your personal relationships. If you’re choosing your smartphone over work and people, you could soon be left without either.
You Have A Hard Time Putting It Down
Although smartphones are devices that are small and portable enough to stow away in a pocket or purse, how often do you put your phone down or let it out of your sight? Think about all the times you attend an event or go out to eat with friends. Do you put your phone away or do you leave it on the table so you can catch every notification that pops up?
If you can’t remember the last time you didn’t check your phone for a long period of time, it may indicate a dependency issue.
You’ve Had a Close Call or Received a Ticket While Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of accidents, resulting in fatalities and injuries, occur each year due to a distracted driver. Even though texting and driving is nearly banned in all states throughout the U.S., many drivers take the risk of getting in an accident just to send a quick message.
Have you caused an accident or almost rear-ended someone because you were looking at your phone? Have you received a ticket or warning for texting and driving? These are also clear indicators that you are dependent on your smartphone.
Don’t think that texting and driving is too distracting? Play “Cards of Distractibility,” a free online game that simulates texting and driving and tests your memory; it’s a lot harder than you might think.
You Feel Bored or Depressed When You’re Not Using Your Phone
Many smartphone addicts use their phones when they are bored or depressed, but if you feel bored or blue when you’re not using your phone, you may also be addicted to your device. The same goes for feelings of irritability and anxiety when you can’t use your phone.
You Hide Your Phone
Like many other types of addiction, an addict may hide what he or she is doing to avoid pressure or ridicule from others. If you hide your smartphone or go somewhere else to use it, you might need to reassess how much time you spend on your phone.