Over 80% of the population owns a mobile device, and 57% of them have more than one type of device. Not only are our electronic devices connected to the internet, but it is also in our car, the fridge, our watch, our games, and even our home. This omnipresence of technology begs the question, how do we know if we are addicted to our phone?
Smartphone addiction impacts around 50% of young adults; here are five signs connected to phone addiction.
In a study by Cheever and colleagues (2014), two groups were studies. One group was allowed to have their phone but had to shut it down during the research. The other group had to give up their phone for the duration of the study. The results show that anxiety levels rose over time, not only in the group that didn’t have access to their phone but also amongst heavy smartphone users that were in the other group. Another study shows that 50% of phone users feel uneasy if they leave their phone behind.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
FOMO is a feeling of anxiety that experienced we think we are missing out on something. It is a collective term that we see in connection with social media use or online shopping. Based on surveys, 56% of social media users experience FOMO, which is connected to the overuse of smartphones.
Phantom Vibration Syndrome
Phantom vibration syndrome it the perceived vibrations from a device that is not vibrating, which leads the user to always look at their phone. In research done with over 250 undergraduates, 89% had experienced phantom vibration.
Displaying a lack of attention is widely spread amongst smartphone users, and it can be hazardous to our society. Currently, 26% of car accidents are linked to phone usage while driving, and 75% of users admit texting while driving.
Finally, one of the most common signs of an addiction is the lack of quality sleep. Research has now demonstrated that the screen light (called blue light) of our device can stimulate the cells in our eyes and reset our internal clock, which is the circadian rhythm. Not only does this affect our sleep, but it could also cause some health issues since circadian rhythm issues are connected to cancer, metabolism issues, and cognitive dysfunctions.