Smart Phone Addiction: Newest Addiction Among Teens and Young Adults

Cellphones are a necessary part of todays linked-in world. 99% of all adults in America own a cellphone, and for many it is a necessary part of their daily lives. But when does it become too much? We’ve all seen the teen or young adult that is so fixated on their phone or device that they are completely oblivious to the world and all that is going on around them. Quite frankly, it is annoying, when you’re trying to get their attention, or walk or drive in their vicinity.

Well, according to a new study, the tendency for young people to be on their phone seemingly 24/7 is more than an annoyance, but a real addiction. Researchers state that many young people have become so dependent on their phones for socialization, directions, school work, and more, that when they are without their phone they feel the physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal. Participants in one study, who used phones regularly, reportedly felt extreme anxiety, irritability, and loss of purpose when they were without their phones for an extended period of time.

Does this sound all too familiar? Do you think that you or a loved one may be a smartphone addict?

Cellphone addiction signs

  • Needing to use the cellphone for social interaction. If using a cellphone becomes the primary way that one interacts with others, it is a clear sign of smartphone addiction. Young people feel the need to be validated through various forms of social media. Without that validation they can become depressed and lonely.
  • Losing track of time when using a smartphone. If a person is on their smartphone for an extended period of time without realizing how much time they are on their phone, it is a sign of a problem.
  • Anxiousness when the phone is dead or left at home.
  • Use of cellphone at inappropriate times, such as work, school, or important family gatherings.
  • An obsessive need for the newest and latest smartphone.

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the above mentioned signs, it is important to reduce smartphone usage, and seek help if necessary.

The following are negative physical and psychological effects that are associated with smartphone addiction.

Physical effects

  • Eye strain, which can include blurry vision, watery eyes, and squinting.
  • Neck aches from looking downward at the phone for long periods of time.
  • Car accident caused by distracted driving while using cellphones.

Psychological effects

  • Using the cellphone in bed or before bed can cause disrupted sleep.
  • Depression and anxiety may result in the absence of the phone.
  • Relationships with loved ones may suffer if too much time is being spent online.