As the tech boom continues to deliver us unprecedented technology in the palm of our hand, many people are beginning to ask the question, Is this a problem? The average person spends a solid 10 hours a day on their mobile device and 60% of those polled say they might be addicted to using the device. This seems absurd, doesn’t it? We’ve only had cell phones for 10-15 years in their current form!
First, let’s consider the definitions of addiction to see if cell phone overuse qualifies as a dependency problem. An addiction is characterized as something you try to quit but can’t, produces diminishing returns that lead to addiction, and begins to negatively impact your health and quality of life. Not all avid cell phone users fall into all of these distinctions but a great many do.
A study at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business polled 164 college undergrads and found that males and females use their phones for largely different purposes. Girls used their phones to foster social relationships while males saw their phones as a source of information and entertainment. Something like listening to music on the phone is not considered an addictive habit, because it lacks the compulsive nature of scoll-scroll-tap, but things like social media and watching videos fall into an area of compulsive consumption. It’s precisely this idea of compulsive consumption that triggers our concerns about addiction in cell phone use.
Tools and technology are important in our modern lives but, as Dr. Roberts from the University study concludes, “It is incumbent upon researchers to identify the all-important ‘tipping point’ where cell-phone use crosses the line from a helpful tool to one that enslaves both users and society alike.”
We all have needs in the 21st century. Things like the need to stay socially connected and to advance our understanding are legitimate reasons to use this tech, but there is a point at which we lose focus on our daily lives and fall into a cycle of irresponsible binging. That’s where we need to draw back on the reins and assess a healthy balance for consuming information and social communication.
Are you addicted to your mobile phone?
If you think you may have developed an unhealthy and uncontrollable compulsion toward your cell phone, give us a call so we can talk about it. There’s no harm in a free consultation call.
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