When I typed ‘signs you’ve got a mobile phone addiction into Google’, the first suggested search was ‘signs you’ve got a mouse in your home’. That did make me chuckle. Anywho, I might be making light of the situation here, but if I’m honest, the struggle is real.
Being addicted to your phone is a bit like being trapped in a prison, only you’re not trapped inside a prison, you’re holding one in your hand. And in the words of Taylor Swift, you just can’t shake, shake, shake it off.
I’ve caught myself feeling VERY disappointed in my behaviour lately. You know when you catch yourself checking your phone for the 5930495th time or you notice you’re completely blanking someone because of a text that’s just come through. Not cool folks. Not cool at all.
I’m definitely at a point where I’m seriously questioning how the amount of time I’m on my phone is impacting my brain. My poor, tired, overworked brain.
It feels like every time I hold my phone a disease is spreading further through the depths of my mind, slowly turning me into some kind of modern day zombie.
The first step to changing is awareness. So I’m thankful that I’m at least noticing this awful habit, even if I’m not yet ready to make any changes. Though shamefully, I wrote this post about how miserable my phone was making me over a year ago, and if I’m honest – nothing has really changed.
The problem with being obsessed with your mobile is you make excuses not to stop.
- Oh, well, I have to be on Facebook because of all the pictures
- I need Whatsapp to stay up to date with social events and goings-on
- I can’t possibly switch off my phone, what if someone needs to get hold of me?
- I can’t just not use my phone because it’s linked to my business
And bla bla bla the list goes on.
We’re so far gone that we see our phones as a necessity. In some ways they are, but they don’t need to be all the time.
The problem is not just us wanting to use our phones, but other people kicking off if we don’t. If I don’t reply to my mum’s text within a few hours she’ll worry something’s wrong. When I deleted Whatsapp I had backlash from all my friends (because I’m obviously amazing to chat to).
According to research from the media analytics company comScore, the average American adult spent approximately 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphone every single day in 2017. Now what’s so shocking about this statistic is that it’s actually not all that shocking.
I can see how I’d end up spending that long on my phone when you add all the minutes up. And yeah, if you tally up all this time, turns out we could end up spending 5 years and four months of our lives on social media apps. Noooo that it’s a horrendous thought.
Something’s got to give!!!
As I said, the first step to overcoming your addiction is, well, realising you have one in the first place.
Here are some clear signs you need to put your mobile phone down and start living your life…
- You turn into Gollum from Lord of the Rings when someone picks up your phone
- If you lose your phone or leave it somewhere your world literally stops until you have it back
- Your phone beats your bae. Meaning, you tend to your phone more than you tend to your lover. Fail
- You can’t hold proper conversations anymore
- You flat out ignore people when you’re on your phone, yeah, ‘phubbing’ (snubbing someone with your phone is a thing)
- You’re scared to check how many hours you spent on Instagram in any given week
- You’re terrified of knowing exactly how many times you check your phone per day. It could be well into the 300’s
- You can’t go five minutes without checking your phone
- Checking your phone feels like a normal routine activity, like yawning or going to the toilet
- You start to feel down when you check your phone and there’s no new message or interesting stuff on your social feeds
- You can’t relax and are easily distracted, you’re always looking for an app, social media site or website to fill your time
- You can’t ‘wait’ anymore without scrolling through your phone to pass the time. E.g. whilst waiting in a supermarket line, sitting in your car waiting to pick someone up, when the ads come on during a TV show
- You lose track of time when you’re on your phone
- You can go an hour or so on your phone without realising what you’re doing. Oopps
- You spend more time on your phone than with people in person
- Your phone feels like an extension of your body
If you do most of the above, maybe it’s time to take this Smartphone addiction test and make some serious changes. One of the first things you can do is download an app called ‘moment’ (I know, it’s ironic, you need to download an app to help your addiction). It tracks how much time you spend on your phone and what apps you’re using the most.