It is hard to overstate just how dependent on our phones many of us have become. With the emergence of smartphones a decade ago, mobiles evolved into more than a communication device. They became our point of access to the world wide web, our portal to social media, a way to shop, connect with friends, keep up to date with the news, listen to music, snap and share photos and much, much more.
But when does reliance on our mobile phones cross the line from aiding and abetting our day-to-day existence to become something more problematic? When does our mobile phone use start to detract from rather than improve the rest of our lives?
With more than a third of adults and up to half of 16 to 24 year olds believing they spend too much time on their phones, it is not an issue anyone can afford to take lightly. So what are the signs you need to check your mobile usage and make a concerted effort to put down your phone?
You panic if you misplace your phone
A sure sign that your attachment to your mobile is a little more intense than it should be is if you start getting paranoid about losing it. Feelings of panic if you temporarily misplace your handset are not healthy and should tell you it is time to plan some time apart.
You wake up in the night to check your phone
Lots of people admit that the first they do in the morning and the last thing they do at night is check their phone. But taking things to a whole new level is waking up in the middle of the night because the urge to check your phone is so strong. Letting your phone use interfere with sleep is irrational enough, but it makes even less sense when you start to consider what it is exactly you are checking for - unless they’re as addicted as you, all your social media friends will be fast asleep!
You can’t take a walk without being glued to your phone
It has become a common sight - hordes of people wandering our towns and cities, their eyes not taking in anything around them as they are transfixed on the screen in their hand in front of them. There is a time and a place for everything in life, but if you cannot even go for a walk without spending it looking at your phone, you have to start to wonder if you are letting life in the real world pass you by.
You shun real interaction to chat online
This is a big one - think carefully about any times when friends or acquaintances have invited you out somewhere, for a coffee or for a bite to eat or to go to watch a film or something, and you have said no. Perhaps you didn’t feel in the mood or you suggested you had other plans. What did you do instead? If you found yourself sat around at home on your phone, playing games, chatting on social media, that really is the clincher. Once you start to choose the digital world of your phone over the real world of friends, you know it is time to take action.
*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.