Are You Addicted to Your Phone? How to Tell and What to Do
We all use our phones constantly, but you might be worried that you are using yours too much. If you have that idea, then there is probably some truth to it. Maybe you know someone who is struggling with their own cell phone addiction, and you want to help them. We are going to tell you the signs to look for as well as a list of steps you or they can take to help get free from phone addiction.
Signs of a Phone Addict
There are some telltale signs that indicate that someone is using their phone too much and may be unable to control their phone usage. While the line between habit and addiction is difficult to define, you can still look out for the telltale signs. Constantly checking the phone- Most people check their phone about 80 times a day, which is a lot. If you think your cell phone usage is out of control, just keep track of how many times you look at it during the day. Spending more time on the phone than planned- Do you find yourself thinking you will only check one thing on the phone and then end up spending half an hour or an hour on it? That could mean that your phone usage is out of control, and you will want to put a stop to it. The phone is sapping your time away, and before you know it, you will be looking back and regretting how much time you wasted on the phone.
Hiding your phone usage- Do you lie about how much time you spend on the phone or cover up your usage, trying to make it look like you spend less time on the device than you really do? Maybe you hide the fact that you take it into the bathroom or erase some of your phone activity in case your parents, spouse or roommate were to check the phone. Covering up an activity is a sign that we are ashamed of what we are doing. Trying to reduce phone usage but failing- If something in your life has you in its grip, it can be hard to get free. An addiction will pull you in despite your best efforts to change and take back control. A loss of control is evidence of an addiction. If you find that the phone is taking over your life, not giving you enough time to get things done each day, requiring you to hire a cleaning service because you can’t be bothered to tidy up or not getting your work done each day and hurting your career, then you need to make a change.
What Can You Do?
There are steps to take to help you get your phone usage under control, and we want to share these with you.
Set a shutdown time- You should shut the phone completely off and leave it off every night, at about the same time. Place it in a separate room from where you sleep and turn the phone off fully so that it won’t be as tempting to you. This will help you start to get things under control because it creates a forced separation. Turn off notifications- One of the reasons that you check your phone so often is because you know whenever you get an update or message, a like or a follow. You probably waste time on the phone after each message check, and this simple change will help you to pick the phone up less. You may want to leave on some important notifications but turn off all the unimportant ones you can to reduce phone usage.
Get accountable- You can find someone to be your accountability partner who will help you keep tabs on how much you use your phone. This can be a spouse or family member who will monitor your usage and who will take the phone for you when things get out of control. Track your phone usage- One thing that helps some people get some perspective and see how bad their addiction is would be to simply track how much time they spend on the phone. There are a number of apps that will do this for you, and you can check that tally each day. It may not be a bad idea to check the phone usage partway through the day to see how much time you racked up already. If you set time restrictions on your usage, then this tool can tell you when to put the phone down and leave it be.
Delete apps- One thing that really takes up your time on the phone is your apps. If you can get rid of some of those, your total phone usage each day may go down. Delete social media apps that you don’t want to keep using. It is a good idea to limit your social media platforms to three or fewer. Delete any apps that you want to spend less time on, and this will give you fewer excuses to pick up the phone and waste your day away on it. Get help- You may not be able to tackle this problem simply by doing the things on this list. Not everyone has the willpower to stick to their decisions. You may stop using the phone as much for a couple of days and then find yourself back to using it too much very quickly. So, the only solution may be to see a psychiatrist or an addiction counselor. By sharing your problem with them, you will get excellent advice and have someone you can confide in fully about your issue. This can help you immensely, just keeping you a bit more accountable and helping you see your problem for what it really is. We tend to lie to ourselves about our addiction and obsession, especially when it comes to doing things we love. By addressing these things and seeing them clearly, we can start to make progress on fixing them.