Four Crucial Signs of Cell Phone Addiction

Cell Phone Addiction

Modern smart phones are fun and oftentimes useful devices. Many people today almost can't live without their phones. However, there's a big downside to smart phones as well. The devices are often huge time sinks, and worse, can be addicting. Here are the four warning signs of a cell phone addiction.

1. Strong emotional attachment

A cell phone, after all, is just an object. Yet some people act like they've lost a child if they can't find their cell phone, even for just a moment. Others feel or act as though their phone is an extension of themselves. Any truly strong emotion directed toward a cell phone is a bad sign.

2. Unhappiness and a lowered quality of life 

Like any other tool or device, a cell phone is intended to make human life better. But if a person spends too much time on their phone, their happiness will suffer. Individuals should think carefully about their phone use and make sure the device is a positive force in their life. For example, someone who is skipping social events or other enjoyable activities so they can spend more time with their phone probably has a problem.

3. Use in inappropriate or dangerous situations

There are certain times and places where using a cell phone is a bad idea. For example, texting or calling while driving is dangerous. A person who understands that using their phone in the car is foolish, but does so anyway, most likely has an addiction. Similarly, someone who stays on their phone at inappropriate times (during a family dinner, for example) probably has a problem.

4. Constant, obsessive checking

Unless there's cause to think an incredibly important call or text is about to come in, constantly rechecking a phone makes no sense. If a person feels compelled to look at their phone every few seconds, they are addicted. Folks like this often know on some level that they've got a problem -- they just can't help themselves.

While receiving a phone update does provide a buzz, being permanently tethered to a digital device that constantly demands attention is no way to live. Those who have unhealthy relationships with their cell phones should strive to take a step back and regain control. For example, setting aside an hour or two of "no-phone" time every day can help. Enlisting a friend or family member to assist is also a good idea.

With time and honest effort, most people will be able to form new, healthier habits of cell phone use. The key is for addicts to realize they have a problem. Those who do find a way to limit their cell phone use to a sane, reasonable level are invariably calmer, more focused and productive, and happier.

About the author:  Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or BCarroll@pivot.com.