It is estimated that between 75 and 90 percent of Americans have cell phones. The numbers are increasing each year, with plenty of young children being granted cell phones each year as well.
Now, in and of itself, this is not an issue, but it does become an issue when someone becomes addicted to their cell phone.
Just look around whenever you're out in public. You'll see a good number of people staring at their cell phones. Some are texting, some are scrolling social media sites, or doing something with their cell phone. Oftentimes, you'll see a family out for dinner and each family member is fiddling with their cell phone. No one is talking to each other; they're simply lost in the cell phone world.
Cell phone addiction is very common. One study suggested that about 67% of people habitually check their phone even, when they don't hear it ring or vibrate. It can simply become a habit and perhaps a compulsion to check your phone every few minutes.
Am I addicted to my cell phone?
Though cell phone addiction is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders yet, it may very well be in the future. Are you addicted to your cell phone? Here are some signs that you may be:
Checking your phone often
If you're continually looking at your phone and have it beside you at all times, you may be addicted to it. Do you find yourself scrolling through Facebook every 30 minutes? Picking it up anytime you are waiting in line or at a red light? Are you continually texting people? Take the time to be very honest with yourself here.
You try to minimize your time on your phone without success
If you've tried to leave your phone behind or let it rest but can't, you may have an addiction to it.
You experience problems because of using your cell phone
Let's say your employer says you cannot use your phone while at work, but you continually do so. You don't want to, but you do anyway and it's causing you problems at work. Or maybe your partner or spouse gets on you because you tend to ignore him or her because you’re always playing with your phone. This could mean you have an addiction to it.
You waste a lot of time on your cell phone
Maybe you just wanted to check your Facebook for a few seconds, but an hour later you're still scrolling and checking things out. If you spend a lot of time on your phone, you could have an addiction.
You freak out when you can't have your cell phone
If you're dealing with a lot of anxiety when you can't use your phone, you may have an over-reliance on it. Sure, it’s normal to have an initial reaction if you can’t find your phone, but if you really lose it at the thought that your phone is missing, you may want to consider the possibility that you have an addiction.
Treating a cell phone addiction
If you do feel like you have an addiction to your cell phone, there are some things you can do to overcome that addiction. For beginners, start leaving your phone in one location in your home instead of keeping it in your pocket or with you at all times. Maybe keep it on the kitchen counter and determine to only check it a certain amount of times throughout the day. Do not sleep with your phone. This may be challenging at first, but after a while you will get used to it and your phone won't be such a compulsion.
Some people benefit from attending addiction counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy works well when it comes to cell phone addictions. Working with your thoughts can certainly help change those unhealthy behaviors to positive behaviors.
Attending internet and tech addictions anonymous (ITAA)
There is a 12-step group geared for those who are addicted to technology. There you will be able to learn about addiction and have a support network that understands this particular addiction and can offer support.
Rehab for Cell Phone Addiction
Consider contacting us at Two Dreams if you have questions about your addiction. We also specialize in treating the extreme anxiety that comes along with the addiction. If we are not a good fit to help you, we can also help you find another rehab center that assists those who have an intense fear of being without their cell phone.
Picking up the practice of meditation can help decrease the anxiety and restlessness that comes from cell phone addiction and help you to feel more at peace in general.
An addiction to a cell phone is much like an addiction to anything. There are oftentimes underlying factors that need to be addressed, such as negative emotions like anxiety or depression. Parents of children and teenagers ought to observe their teens behaviors when it comes to their smartphones. There are many teenagers that are addicted to their cell phones, oftentimes staying up half the night on their phones with their friends or scrolling social media sites.
As a parent, it is important to have firm boundaries regarding technology use and recognizing the signs of addiction. Have open conversations with your children about the frequency of technology us , as well as alerting them to the signs of addiction.
If you or your child is addicted to technology such as a cell phone, reach out for help. Educate yourself on technology addiction and find the recovery path that you feel will work for you. There is help available and you can overcome a cell phone addiction. Continue to do some research via the internet on addiction. As you educate yourself, you empower yourself in great ways.
If you’ve done all you can do and still have the addiction, consider reaching out for help. Take your first step today and admit that you have a problem. Then, seek your path to your recovery, so you can become free from cell phone addiction.