How smartphone addiction affects our mental health, relationships, and wellbeing
In the last 24 hours, how many times have you checked your phone for notifications or alerts from social media apps, texts, emails, etc.?
Have you ever been in a meeting and found yourself checking your phone to see if anyone had texted or emailed you while it was out of sight and then felt embarrassed when someone noticed that you were doing so (or just thought that it was rude)?
How often do you find yourself scrolling through apps on a work break even though it may not be an appropriate time, even if there are no notifications or alerts? Do you ever find yourself “doom scrolling” only to realize that minutes or hours have passed by?
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you at all?
There’s a name for this phenomenon called “smartphone addiction,” when someone cannot stop thinking about their phone for reasons outside of everyday use. This addiction can result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues caused by spending too much time on your smartphone or tablet device.
What is addiction, and how does it work
It’s no secret that many adults and children alike spend at least some time each day using their smartphones. Still, addiction is when usage becomes destructive to the individual’s mental health, social life, and overall wellbeing. And just like addiction to drugs or alcohol, addiction to your phone can induce addiction-related symptoms, including withdrawal symptoms when you’re not using your phone. Addiction is defined as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice, something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.”
Addiction is the mental and emotional state of being dependent on something, resulting from a perceived positive emotional reaction, whether to drugs or smartphones. Addiction can be a coping mechanism, entertainment, or an escape from reality — all can be incredibly detrimental to one’s mental health if not moderated.