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Cell Phone Addiction: A New Epidemic

Research indicates that 66 percent of people across the United States and Britain suffer from something called nomophobia, which is the fear of being separated from their mobile phones. As the information age develops and matures, unhealthy cell phone behavior continues to grow.

Tens of millions of people are literally addicted to their cell phones, especially smartphones, and feel panicked, anxious and afraid when deprived of their devices.

Some argue that cell phones, computers, and other high tech devices are saturating our culture to the point of excess. Others may feel that our society is like one huge technological experiment that is pushing humans to the limit of tech tolerance and information consumption and waiting for a day of disaster when it all collapses.

While saving people time and resources while increasing productivity, reliance on cell phones or web-enabled “smartphones” has increased greatly. However with such proliferation, the potential for abuse and addiction has increased proportionally. Many people have become incredibly attached to their phones. One statistic has shown that 75 percent of respondents report that their phone is less than five feet from them at any given time.

Cell phones are turning up in very unusual places these days; from the shower to movie theaters and restaurants, and even behind the wheel of cars and while being intimate in bed. It may be just a matter of time before smartphones will be installed into people’s bodies, making them like cyborgs.

It no longer seems to matter if it’s rude or dangerous; people are going to compulsively use their phones just about anytime, anywhere. Laws have been passed and rules implemented in order to thwart some cell phone junkies, specifically targeting those who drive while texting or in the theater. There is good reason to, as texting while driving has been proven to be 6 times more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol, according to statistics.

“Cell phones are addictive in the same way slot machines are,” explains Dr. Fran Walfish of Beverly Hills, CA. “The immediacy of response, gratification, and excitation combine to make the user want more and want more now.” People are also using them to cope with social situations or being uncomfortable in a public setting, but this is problematic as it could be detrimental to health.

Cell phone addiction is real. Here are the signs and symptoms:

  • Constantly checking phone, with compulsion to respond immediately
  • Phantom Cell Phone Vibration Syndrome (yep, it’s real and just what it sounds like)
  • Failing in school
  • Tuning out the person you’re with
  • Feeling anxious without your phone, not being to go on short errands without it

 

If you want help with your smartphone addiction, or know someone who does, here are some helpful rules:

  • NO texting while driving
  • No phone while in the bathroom, shower or while being intimate
  • No phone while ordering, checking out
  • When you’re with your friends, turn your phone OFF
  • If you’re on a date, agree to check phone only every 90 minutes, for 5 minutes max., at the same time.
  • When you’re ready, try leaving the phone at home sometimes, maybe even for a full day. You may need to start off with 1-2 hours without it, and then you can graduate up to a whole day.

Cell phone addiction is a very real phenomenon. Seek help for yourself or others before it gets worse.

 

 

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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Addiction, Conditions and Disorders, Mental Illness, Research · Tags: addicted to technology, Addiction, America, cellphone, cellphone addiction, devices, Great Britain, internet, smartphone, smartphone addiction, technology, texting