When do you know it’s time to reduce your smartphone use? Your smartphone may be causing personal, social, and workplace problems – and females are even more susceptible to smartphone addiction, according to a small study by researchers from the Binghamton University-State University of New York.
Participants were placed into one of the following types:
- Highly Engaged
The users in both the “fanatic” and “addict” categories were found to exhibit depression, social isolation, social anxiety, shyness, impulsivity, and low self-esteem, with females most likely to exhibit susceptibility to addiction.
“Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering,” said Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton University-State University of New York. “Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction. This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom.”
Some warning signs that you need to reduce your smartphone use, according to Vaghefi:
- You use technology to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression.
- You ignore what’s happening in real time in favor of what’s happening virtually.
- Constantly checking your smartphone, even when it doesn’t ring or vibrate.
- You get paranoid when you do not have your smartphone with you.
3 Steps to Reduce Smartphone Use
- Do track how much time you’re spending on your phone. Download a free app to help you track your smartphone usage and then set goals to help you scale back. Some apps even have features to let you lock yourself out of your phone if you go over a pre-set limit.
- Don’t charge your phone bedside. In fact, your bedroom is one place that your phone should never be. This is because the blue-hued light can prevent your brain from releasing sleep-inducing melatonin, keeping you from sleeping peacefully at night. Plus, making your bedroom a smartphone-free zone will eliminate the temptation to pick up your phone when you can’t sleep.
- Don’t use your phone in the company of others. Unless it’s really necessary, do your best to put away your phone when you’re with family, friends, and colleagues. Not only will this help curb your use but it will also help you develop stronger relationships. After all, staring at your phone in the company of others is just plain rude.
Help for a Dual Diagnosis
In addition, we believe in addressing issues in a simultaneous, holistic and integrated fashion. To learn more about our treatment options or about how to reduce smartphone use, call 828.382.9699. Together, we can change your life for the better and reduce your smartphone use.