Cell phone addiction is one of the more modern addictions to be discussed presently. Because cell phones are only twenty years old, cell phone addiction has not had much time to be examined, so we are still growing to understand its attributes. There are some characteristics of cell phone addiction that psychologists have identified, however, such as your state of mind when separated from your phone, the social situations you bring your phone into, how close you keep it to your person at all times, how quickly you go to it in the morning and how late you go to it at night.
One tell-tale sign of cell phone addiction is how you feel when you do not have your cell phone on you. Everyone becomes separated from their cell phone eventually, whether it is due to theft or accidental misplacement. Your personal reaction when this happens to you says a lot about how in control you are of your cell phone needs. If you are calm and know that the situation can be remedied, chances are you are not addicted. If you experience stress, anxiety or panic, this is a sign of addiction.
There are appropriate times and places for cell phone use. In-person social occasions are not one of them. This does not include brief cell phone use that is for the good of the group, such as calling to confirm a restaurant reservation. But if you are in the midst of a social situation and you still feel the need to be “connected” to your digital world through your cell phone, you may have a problem.
You should feel able to part with your cell phone from time to time, especially at minute levels such as going to the bathroom. It may seem unbelievable to some, but there are people who get anxiety going to the bathroom without their cell phones. If you are unable to go to the bathroom, get the mail or in general leave the room without your cell phone, you may be addicted.
And lastly, if your phone is the first thing you want when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see before going to bed, you are engaging in unhealthy behavior. Your need for this particular piece of technology has become too intimate at this point, and you must draw boundaries between yourself and your cell phone.