Can you be addicted to your phone?

Can you be addicted to your phone? Chances are, it’s either already in your hand or within easy reach. And there is nothing wrong with that, right? Quite possibly, there is nothing wrong with that. Smartphones are useful and fun devices — nothing more. But when it does become more than that, it can spell trouble. Yes, you can be so attached to your phone that it turns into an obsession or even a real addiction. Larry Rosen, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, is an expert in the field of technology addiction, an area that’s only gaining more attention these days. For the past 30 years, he has studied the impact of technology on more than 50,000 children, teens and adults worldwide. Perhaps the most eye-catching statistic he has come across is this: The average person checks his or her phone about 60 times a day for a total of 220 minutes — nearly four hours. Technology addiction is the same as any other type of addiction. How can you tell if you’re addicted to your phone?

  • You need more of the addictive “substance”–in this case, it could be social media, surfing, apps, gaming or all of these–in order to feel the same happiness and satisfaction.
  • Time away from your phone leads to depression, anxiety or stress.
  • When you are not using your phone, you are restless and keep thinking about it.

How can you get into the habit of healthy technology use? Rosen suggests creating a schedule and allotting a certain amount of time for certain devices. Changing your behavior can change your addictive propensities, but a true addiction takes time to fix.