They say the only way to overcome an addiction is to first admit you have one. If you look around, a majority of Americans have an addiction to their smartphone. On average, we check our phone nearly 100 times a day.
Jamie Gallegos says, her phone is her “contact to the world.” She always has her phone on her and when she doesn’t she has anxiety.
Dr. Patrick Fehling says, it’s easy to get addicted to your smartphone, because it has so much to offer.
Dr. Fehling compares smartphones to drugs like Xanax and Heroine.
“They are incredibly responsive and you get immediate gratification and that seems to be very connected to addiction as a whole. Most of the drugs that are the most addicted drugs of abuse tend to be incredibly fast on and fast off.”
Gallegos uses her phone throughout the entire day. She’s guilty of checking her phone, even if it never goes off.
But, how do you know you’re addicted to your smartphone?
Dr. Fehling says to look out for signs like you are “on your phone all the time getting into arguments with your spouse, getting into fights with your family, and everyone is asking why can’t you be more engaged or pay more attention to them instead of being distracted by these mobile devices.”
If these situations aren’t happening in your life, Dr. Fehling says symptoms come along with addiction too.
For example, “anxiety, symptoms of depression or sadness, irritability or sleep problems. If you get up at night needing to check your phone.”
If you are addicted to your phone and are looking to disconnect without having major withdrawals, Dr. Fehling says there are simple tasks you can do to help.
“When you get into your car put your phone inside your glove compartment. You can’t actually look at it, you are not drawn to it. When you plug in your phone at night, put it on a different floor of your house.”
It’s best to set concrete boundaries for yourself and your phone usage. Make them small enough to achieve daily, but large enough to see progress long term.