A staggering amount of people, especially teens, are addicted to smartphones.. At least 3 of these phone addiction symptoms will be completely new to you. You might be shocked to discover which ones…
This increased usage of smartphones has led to a lot of physical and psychological effects that are harmful for the well-being of these individuals.
This issue is so serious that a word has been invented just for it: Nomophobia. This term is given to phone addicts that completely lose their mind when they are away from their phones.
The smartphone was invented to keep us connected to the world, our friends, and family. However, its over-use has become a major reason of keeping us disconnected from our real relations.
This misuse of technology has severe consequences, among which the most prominent symptoms are given below.
1. Increased Levels of Stress
People that compulsively check their phones every minute are extremely addicted to it. Their mind and body constantly remains under stress due to their habit of checking their phones after short intervals.
When you are on a vacation, where you are supposed to feel stress-free, you check your phone first thing in the morning. You chat with your colleagues and get anxious about your work.
The fact that you can check your phone and get updates from work, you are putting a lot of work-stress on your mind.
a. Stress on Fingers
Some research scientists have found that some people constantly using their smartphones, have a high level of brain activity every time they touch their fingers on their phone’s screen. This increased electrical activity in the brain results in severe stress on the fingers and the mind.
b. Stress on the Mind
After a long and hectic day at work, many people excessively use their phones. Working hours are enough stressful to drain you off energy. However, phone addicts still feel the need of putting their mind under massive stress. Not only their eye muscles get tired, their energy levels deteriorate.
c. Stress on the Body
When you use your phone, you look down at it. Tilting your head forward puts a strain on your neck and back and results in a permanently disturbed posture. This tilting of head puts a lot of stress on your neck, shoulder, and cervical spine, which can turn into chronic back pain in the long run.
People who are addicted to phones find it hard to unplug from work and social networks. At night, lying on the bed, one should focus on giving the mind and body some rest and this is exactly what sleep is for.
However, constantly checking your phone and keeping it next to your pillow is doing more damage than you ever imagined. Letting your phone usage invade your sleep is the worst thing you are doing to your mind and body. This over-use of technology may lead to stress, less productivity, lower energy levels, difficulty concentrating and lower brain activity.
Melatonin, a chemical in our body, plays an important role in our natural sleep-wake cycle. This chemical interprets light and darkness and sends a signal to the body when it is night time, the time to sleep.
However, when we make use of phones at night, melatonin mistakes the artificial light for daytime. As a result, we find it hard to sleep which causes various sleeping disorders including insomnia.
With the introduction of smartphones, we are able to connect to the world with just a click.
However, this efficient technology has several drawbacks that directly impact our mind and body. The anxiousness that comes by hearing a small ping causes severe anxiety.
The constant urge of checking the phone and finding no message on it results in stress. People start to stress their mind and worry about not getting any message.
Many phone addicts wait for a message to come, which causes stress and anxiety.
We have become highly dependent on our phones and limited our brain activity and learning experience because we have everything saved on our phones. We no longer feel the need of learning something because it is on our phones which travels everywhere with us.
People using smartphones feel socially obligated to stay connected to social networks, which keeps them hooked to the device, giving them no time to relax.
People nowadays prefer virtual communication instead of a face-to-face one. People that are addicted to their phones find it hard to stay away from them. Such people then feel strong withdrawal symptoms when they cannot have their phones including severe depression.
A lot of depression is caused when we are anxiously waiting for a text-message or a call but do not receive one.
Our minds start to think “why didn’t he/she call me back?“, “why isn’t he replying to me?“, “My friends are busy texting but I am alone“, etc. We are so much influenced by our phones that we cannot think of a world where phones don’t exist.
Smartphone is a valuable technology that has its benefits. However, getting addicted to it may cause several behavioral shifts and problems including aggression.
The people that constantly use their phones are unable to look away from them. In some cases, the addiction is so worse that people feel angry when their phone is taken away from them.
A great number of teens do not let anyone touch their phones. When they lose their phones, they show signs of aggression which results in constant mood swings, feeling of unhappiness, and irritation on little things.
Addiction to phone can make a person careless and cause several behavioral issues. Many people are so addicted to their phones that they can’t keep it away while driving, eating, studying, talking to someone, etc.
Such people are misusing the technology, which has a severe impact on their behavior. Phone addicts believe that using a phone while in a face-to-face conversation isn’t rude. Teens often use their phone while studying for their exams, which results in poor GPA.
Moreover, people who are addicted to their phones use them wherever they go. Whether it is a funeral, a family gathering, or school, they constantly stay busy with their phones.
7. An inability to stop the use of cell phone despite knowing you will be faced with negative consequences
One of the major symptoms that have been noted in people with excessive use of phones is that they find it hard to leave their phones for good. Children and teens that cover a greater percentage of phone addicts often fail to understand the consequences that this over-use of technology may have on their lives.
When therapists or medical experts tell them about the health problems linked to over-use of phones, they simply ignore it. Phone addiction is very similar to alcohol addiction. People abusing alcohol know that it could potentially harm their health and in worst cases take away their lives.
However, they continue to drink without thinking about its negative effects. The same goes for people who use their phone as they drive or perform other daily tasks.
8. Difficulties experienced in relating with other people
Addiction to smartphones causes relationships and friendships to break. People that constantly use their phones can’t keep away from them. They feel the obligation of constantly checking on their phones. Whether they are hanging out with friends or family, they simply can’t look away from their phones.
As a result, people around them feel upset. For example, using a smartphone while on a date with your significant other might make them infuriated. Things like these are included in phone etiquettes that most of us fail to understand.
By using our phones, we disconnect ourselves with the real world, which is a huge problem that causes relationships to break. Smart phones were invented to keep us connected to the world. However, people in today’s world have taken it to the next level by isolating themselves from the real world.
They are so much engrossed in fancy applications, exciting games, and interesting conversations that they fail to make valuable interactions and fulfill their commitments.
Using your phone while in a company is not only rude but it also breaks the social flow of conversations.
9. Craving more time with your phone
When you can’t stay away from your phone for more than 15 minutes, you are addicted to it. People often feel excited and anxious to explore new things in their phones. This includes downloading interesting apps and games. Phone addicts usually can’t have enough of their phones, which is why they can’t put it away for even a second. At night, many phone users keep themselves forcefully awake in order to use their phones to chat, socialize, watch videos, and play games.
Today’s phones are extremely dynamic, they let us use internet, connect to friends in other countries, and get non-stop entertainment, which is why people find it more interesting to stay awake and use their phones instead of sleeping. People have become so dependent on their phones for everything including communication, news, updates, and assignments that they don’t find the need of limiting their phone usage.
Moreover, when people can’t use their phones at work, they are desperate to use it after working hours which not only puts stress on their minds but their bodies as well.
10. Neglecting spending time with your family and friends
Smartphone was introduced to help people connect in a better way. In olden days, it was extremely hard to talk to a loved one in another continent. However, people started to use phones for everything.
Today, when people are attending an event or are part of a social gathering, they are engrossed in their phones instead of conversing with the people around them. Adolescents are most affected by phones than anyone else.
People nowadays are practically married to their cell phones because they are constantly in contact with them. Those days are long gone when you could hang with friends and family without being distracted.
Those were the days when people would actually spend valuable time with their loved ones. Today, when a person goes out for lunch with friends, he/she stays busy socializing with other friends rather than socializing with the people physically present in front of them.
Many parents have been reported to complain about this excessive use of cell phone and some have even confiscated it. This excessive usage of phone can cause fights, arguments, and even loss of relationships.
11. Changes in the sleep patterns
Phone usage at nighttime has been linked to disturbed sleeping patterns by several medical experts and researchers. Artificial light from a phone can damage our melatonin signals so much so that we cannot sleep on time.
Moreover, using the phone for entertainment purpose makes us want to stay awake for longer hours. Constant repetition of this schedule disrupts our natural sleeping patterns.
Such people usually sleep less than seven hours, which causes several health risks including diabetes, heart problems, depression, inability to concentrate, poor memory, inactive mind, and learning problems.
12. Not taking part in healthy activities
Why put stress on the mind to solve a problem when you can simply find it online through your smartphone? Phones have become the solution to everything and not every time these solutions are for our benefit. Sometimes, when a person is too addicted to a phone, he/she fails to take part in all the healthy activities including brainstorming, learning, walking, socializing, etc.
People find answer to their problems with the help of a single click and that’s the reason they avoid the effort. Habits like socialization suffer greatly due to phone addiction. People prefer staying connected to their phones while at an occasion or meeting. They are going away from healthy forms of communication to spend time in communicating through technology.
Moreover, they use phones to search for assignments instead of going out doing practical research. Many things like these are taking us away from healthy activities that have a positive impact on our lives. Every child of this generation owns a smartphone. They prefer playing games on their phones instead of going out in a natural setting with friends.
They like playing virtual football rather than playing it in actual fields, which keeps them away from healthy physical activity that they can highly benefit from.
Smartphone technology was created to serve us in a positive way, to connect us to the world, and to help us explore. However, this technology has been put to the wrong use and many of us are getting addicted to it.
There are real dangers to smart phone addiction including prominent physical and mental disorders. It is important to manage your smart phone use and avoid exploiting the technology.
Appreciate the technology that has been provided to you instead of letting it rule your life.