Think of something you can't live without? The obvious answers probably  come to mind...air, food, water. But now it looks like we can add another to the list, your phone. Phones go with us everywhere we go these days. It's the way we stay connected to the world, somewhat of an information portal at our fingertips. It keeps us connected to friends and family and the latest news of the days. We go to sleep with it beside us and wake up to check it. Is it possible to even say that we may be addicted to our smartphones? From recent studies, the answer looks to be yes. Time magazine recently surveyed 5,000 people from eight different countries, and the finds show an ever-growing dependency on our mobile devices. Some of the highlighted results showed that (Time):
  • 50% go to sleep with their phones, 80% ages 18-24
  • 84% said they could not go a day without their cellphone
  • 20% said they check their phone every ten minutes
Other reports have found figures just as high. A recent study of 1600 managers and professionals also found an extreme attachment to mobile phones (WebMD).
  • 56% check their phone before going to bed, 70% check it within an hour of waking up
  • 51% constantly check their phones while on vacation
  • 44% would feel high anxiety if they were to lose their phone and be without one for a week
And if the recent poll results aren't proof enough that their is a possibility that we're becoming more and more addicted to our phones, "smartphone addiction" even has it's own page listing on WebMD. Although it is not being called an addiction at this time, there are the possibilities for it. Just as internet and computer addiction, or any addiction for that matter,  can reinforce the "high" seeking behavior, smartphones can as well. Technologies have the power to "alter mood and trigger enjoyable feelings." Do you seem to fit some of the statistics above? Are you constantly checking your phone even when it doesn't buzz? Or maybe your a victim of the "phantom buzz," thinking that you've felt your phone vibrate even when it hasn't. There are a few things you can do to try to tame your anxiety and "addiction" to your phone. WebMD suggests some of the following:
  • Be aware of the emotions that are making you want to check your phone. Maybe it's just boredom. Try to find other activities that can change the emotions your feeling  besides checking your phone.
  • Don't always answer your phone. There's no rule requiring you to pick up your phone every time it beeps or buzzes. Try turning off the alerts to avoid unnecessary internet updates.
  • Discipline yourself to turn the phone off or on silent. Perhaps when your driving, spending time with family on the weekends or your on vacation. If you can avoid using your phone for a while, it may help to control the anxiety you feel when your away from it for a certain amount of time.
Information Courtesy of: WebMD, techland.time.com, huffingtonpost.com, nydailynews.com

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