Smartphone Addiction: What's The Cure?

Published: 16th January 2012
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Smartphone addiction can be considered by many as an over reaction to what many people enjoy using on an everyday basis. But for others it can be considered a problem for many reasons.

With smartphones now capable of not only organizing one's life but also replacing the need for a camera, diary, notepad, calculator and effectively replacing other forms of communication and ways to keep oneself entertained the smartphone has everything covered in a way that has never before been available. The newer generations are having the availability of such a powerful device from a very young age, something that was never available for the previous generations. So in time it may become a much bigger issue than research currently suggests.

What Are The Signs?

An addiction can be spotted at the most basic level for friends or family that continually text and use the smartphone in someone's company for extended periods while being incapable of putting it away, thus having irrational fears of losing or being without it can be the beginning of signs that yourself or someone you know is becoming addicted.

Being able to recognise that there's a problem is the first step to recovery. Therefore, it may already be apparent if a partner is spending each and every day when together glued to their phone checking their social network status or always keeping their inbox refreshed just in case that nothing is missed.

So what are the indicators that should be checked for?

- Checking an inbox repeatedly, within a short period of time.

- Withdrawal symptoms when not capable of using or having access to the smartphone.

- Sleeping patterns changing becoming more sporadic and dependent on the addiction.

- Texting whilst in conversation with friends and family Including the reduced number of social gatherings and meeting with friends, in order to compensate the habit.

- Unable to leave home without the smartphone.

- Checking the phone constantly, even though there has been no texts or emails but to view status updates and other notifications.

These are not all specifically focussed with smartphone addiction but by showing signs of many of the above may help identify if there is already a problem or possibly a problem that could be developing.

So What's The Cure?

As previously stated being able to recognise and admit there is a problem can greatly help establish what now must be done to help remove the addiction. But there is no outright cure, instead there are techniques that can reduce the time devoted to it's use and to help realise ways to improve, is a great way to make a start.

To begin try making small changes at a time. For example, if you have friends or family that live close by try communicating face to face as much as possible. As this can help reduce the need for using the phone and can help slowly reduce the amount of time spent each day. This will include when talking to people, try to focus and keep yourself engaged in the conversation so there is never an urge to reach for the phone. Try explain to people your goals and get them involved to keep your mind of it.

Also, try establishing areas that is a smartphone free-zone. For example the bedroom and the bathroom, two places we spend a large part of our day and by removing these areas will again greatly reduce the amount of time each day accumulated to quickly check for updates and texts. Try switching the phone off at night also, being able to sleep at least 8 hours a day is vital and being 'connected' is not worth reducing this.

We all know the benefits that smartphones have in our lives, whether helping organise our day to day activities, helping pass mindless hours on public transport or even help save money by having the ability to have cheap calls to Thailand, Brazil or anywhere else in the world, it must be remembered that everything is acceptable in moderation. Therefore by taking small steps to help reduce the overall time spent and making distractions the addiction may be realised and being able to recognise of how little importance of checking up on social networks, texts and emails really have in your life will hopefully be realised.

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