Cellphones have become such an integrated part of our culture that some are wondering if it’s healthy and question if our behavior is actually an addiction that we are unaware of.
Dr. James Roberts, Baylor University, wrote a piece for Yahoo! Tech where she describes twelve different ways to tell if you are actually addicted to that little gadget that seems glued to everyone’s hands.
In her article she states that sixty-eight percent of Americans sleep with their cellphones next to their beds and states that cell phone addiction is like other technologically based addictions. These include video games and computer addictions, which are real because essentially, everything that gives the brain a satisfying stimulation could lead to abuse or addiction.
According to rushhourdaily.com! Tech, researchers have expressed that there are “six signs” to tell if someone is addicted to a type of behavior, those signs include; salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse.
These six signs all relate to abuse of cellphone usage. The article categorized the 12 different behaviors that could be labeled into the six categories of signs of addiction by showing that those who demonstrate salience towards their phones have a tendency to do these two actions:
- The first thing I reach for after waking in the morning is my cellphone.
- I would turn around and go back home on the way to work if I had left my cellphone at home.
For those unfamiliar with salience, it’s a behavior that becomes second nature and something we do without realizing we are doing it.
The next sign, euphoria, asks users if they have ever used their phones for either:
- I often use my cellphone when I am bored.
- I have pretended to take calls to avoid awkward social situations.
Tolerance is the third sign and asks users about the amount they use an object or substance, so in this particular case it asks:
- I find myself spending more and more time on my cellphone.
- I spend more time than I should on my cellphone.
Withdrawal could occur if the object is removed or unavailable for a certain period of time:
- I become agitated or irritable when my cellphone is out of sight.
- I have gone into a panic when I thought I had lost my cellphone.
Conflict can occur for those who are observing abuse or over usage of cell phone users. It shows that it could potentially be interfering with you life, so ask yourself if:
- I have argued with my spouse, friends, or family about my cellphone use.
- I use my cellphone while driving my car.
And finally relapse, which shows a person trying to kick a habit, but is unsuccessful. These signs can be apparent if;
- I have tried to curb my cellphone use, but the effort didn’t last very long.
- I need to reduce my cellphone use, but am afraid I can’t do it.
Dr. James Roberts and rushhourdaily.com! Tech’s points make a pretty good case that our society is in fact addicted to this form of technology. So much that most people do not see it as a problem.
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