The modern technology has aimed to improve our lifestyle, but it has also brought with it new epidemics. Take a Smartphone for instance; it is more than making calls. It has essential software like banking apps, which you may not be able to do without, depending on the nature of your business or work. Your Smartphone is supposed to make life easier for you with these useful apps, but the reality is that it can also gradually imprison you if you do not set limits. It is fast becoming the new cigarette or alcohol for those who misuse it.
Now, you are not going to contract cancer due to a heavy Smartphone use. Contrary to popular belief, no conclusive evidence has proved that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by your phone is harmful enough to affect your health adversely. The phone FR waves (be they to or from the Wi-Fi devices or the towers) are just not strong enough to directly cause any substantial harm to your DNA or your body tissues. So as far as radiation is concerned rest assured you are safe. However, the elephant in the room is called smartphone addiction. You can, or has already become addicted to your Smartphone. Why are you online now?
Phone addiction interferes with the victim’s normal life. Already, half of the adults in the developed countries are always checking their phones. One in five teenagers goes to bed with their Smartphone and wake up now and then to check the notifications.
Could you be addicted to your device? These symptoms will reveal your condition:
- Feeling Restless If without the Smartphone
The psychiatrists have coined a term for this behavior. It is called Nomo-phobia, that is, the fear of not having your phone. If you have the habit of obsessively checking your phone and then it goes off or loses network, do you keep your cool or become needlessly anxious? You are not making a call, Googling, or texting, but you just feel at peace holding your Smartphone. Watch out if you panic whenever you do not have your phone. If you leave the house for work without your Smartphone, will you have a good day at work? Do you feel your phone vibrating in your pocket even when you do not have it? If you get restless when you do not have your phone even when you are expecting no call, this is a sign of addiction.
2. Always Checking Notifications
Are you always eager to check the latest notifications and when you fail to get one, you are disappointed? Do you feel rejected or ignored when no one likes or comments on your recent posts or uploads? That is a sign you are developing or has developed Smartphone addiction.
Recent research shows that an average American checks his Smartphone every 12 minutes. That is roughly 80 times per day. Another study by Asurion, a support company, found that the average person cannot go beyond 10 minutes without checking the phone. In such a situation, imagine not having your phone for 24 hours! Another research by Statisca has shown that the majority of Smartphone users spend a total of one hour every day on their Smartphone. Brazil is one of the countries with the highest number of Smartphone addicts. An average phone user in Brazil spends nearly five hours every day on the phone.
But the prize for the longest online surfers goes to the teenagers. They spend an average of nine hours per day on their smartphones.
If checking notifications is the first thing you do every day when you wake up in the morning, then you need counseling. Since it’s these notifications that define your day, bad notifications will be ruining your day each morning. You see, there are more bad notifications than good notifications online.
- Chatting On a Date
You are on a date with your loved partner, but you can’t concentrate on the moment. Something is lacking It is not exciting. To spice things up, you feel you have to chat online with some stranger you have never met and may never meet. Is this how you date? Instead of concentrating on and talking to your partner seated directly before you, chatting with a stranger takes over you. It is a sign you are becoming a prisoner to Smartphone.
The dinner table should be for dinner. Date night is a date night. If your partner is sensible, she or he should consider your behavior rude and ask you to switch off your phone. However, in some instances both partners happen to be Smartphone addicts so as the man chats online, so does the lady. In short, they planned the date so they can sit together physically but mentally be away from each other. There is no extended eye contact between the two partners. They speak without turning to each other.
It’s not just while dating alone that you should put the Smartphone down; always keep it away as well when watching TV, attending a concert, in church, mosque, shopping, driving or doing any work. Just show everyone that you are responsible and in charge of your life. Multitasking is a sign you are not concentrating on one of the tasks.
- First Recording an Accident before Helping
Have you found yourself more interested in filming a crumbling building than rushing to rescue the victims buried under the debris? Or shooting a road accident scene instead of joining those plucking out the injured from the wreck? You want a video to upload to YouTube or Whatsapp. Breaking News syndrome has gotten the better of you. That is part of Smartphone addiction.
The constant breaking news videos you have been watching online have conditioned your mind to believe that filming tragedies are more important than performing the Good Samaritan’s simple bit. You want to be a hero in the eyes of your twitter followers and Facebook friends, and filming and sharing with them a video of a helpless old man drowning in a flooded village is the way.
- Posting Anything You Think or Hear
If your Facebook wall has become the ever open door to your heart and mind, then you are a phone addict. Whatever rumour you hear, whatever thought crosses your mind, whatever you see, you rush to post it. Whenever you feel you have nothing to post, you go on a liking spree, liking every photo you see.
The thought that your like is making the photo’s owner happy is enough fulfillment for you. It thrills you. After all, you too rely on likes to feel satisfied. You know its worth. Not that it’s wrong to comment positively or like a nice a photo. It’s just that in your case, it’s an obsession; you want to like everything under the sun. If this is what your life has become, you are a Smartphone addict.
- Feeling Home Only With Online Friends
Do you feel happy only when you open yourself to the strangers you meet online? If your relative dies, you rush to moan with your little-known facebook friends. On your birthday, you seem to receive a thousand birthday wishes from your Facebook friends and none from your neighbours. Well, the neighbours may not even be aware that it’s your birthday.
It will be in vain if you learn of your sickness minus where the cure is. If you believe you are a smartphone addict, you should seek therapy or counseling. Your addiction could soon evolve into something worse. Excessive phone usage has been found to lead to depression. Depression, when it becomes chronic, can lead to suicide. Alternatively, depression can kill you slowly.
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