Smartphones these days feature prominently in most people’s personal and work lives. However, this pre-eminence of tech devices in the lives of most people is not necessarily having a positive impact. Many end up experiencing an information overload, resulting in an increase in anxiety and stress levels, reduced concentration, poor sleep quality and so much more. Many people on average spend way too much time on their phones and in 2018, things do not seem to have improved.
Definition of smartphone addiction
Nomophobia is the name given to this addiction. Nomophobia is defined as the fear of not being with one’s phone. Though cell phones have been around for quite some years now, there has been an observable increase in addiction to these devices. The reason why more and more people seem unable to stay away from their phones has been noted as the content that is now available on their devices. Here the reference is being made to apps, music, videos, social networks, internet, etc.
Popular triggers that are impulse driven
- Data and information overload, e.g., games, apps, surfing, etc.
- Content-driven by relationship and social media networks
- Auctions, stock trading, gambling, shopping
- Dating apps, cybersex, and internet pornography
Negative impact of phone dependency on our lives
All the studies and research data we examined at BankMyCell found that dependency on smartphones does have a real impact on mental and physical health. Most of this impact was found to be negative.
In business oriented roles in which work life is connected to the person’s device, as in the case of emails, higher stress levels were observed.
For persons with smartphone dependency symptoms, working with their devices near them tended to reduce their productivity. Expectedly, this reduction in productivity increased as dependency increased.
3. Depression and loneliness
Such symptoms were mainly observed in populations such as teens who have high social media use.
4. Sleep deprivation
This symptom was also observed with increasing dependency on smartphones. Lack of sleep had a negative impact on memory, learning skills, and long-term mental health. Rest is a somewhat critical aspect of our mental health and when it is insufficient, mental health issues develop. Physical fitness is also affected by poor sleep deprivation.
Those whose dependency mainly showed social media addiction started to display self-absorption traits because of continually taking selfies and posting on their pages.
Warning signs to look out for that indicate smartphone addiction
- You cannot keep off your phone even when conversing with someone
- You are having trouble with concentration and cannot finish work and other chores. You are forever distracted because you want to check your phone
- You begin to experience sleep problems
- You need to be on your phone, or you start to feel anxious and irritable
- You think you are missing something when you are not on your phone
- You mask your use of your phone, e.g., you go to the bathroom while at work to check your phone