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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Compulsive Use of Smart Phones a Growing Reality

compulsive use of smartphonesIn a recent Baylor University study, 60 of 164 respondents called themselves “addicted” to their smart phone. The study analyzed 24 different cell phone functions, reporting that apps like Instagram and Pinterest were among the most common time drains. The study found women’s phone use hovering at 10 hours per day, while men used their device slightly less (8 hours per day).

According to Baylor researcher James Roberts, Ph.D, these numbers are astounding. “As cell phone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility,” he said.

Smart phones are not inherently bad, since they provide the tools we need to stay connected to friends and loved ones, capture images of important life moments, navigate us to new destinations, and organize our tasks in a more productive way. Unfortunately, their draw often proves too much: distracting us from family, work, and meaningful pastimes. In many cases, we even become anxious or agitated when we are unable to find or access our device.

Symptoms of Smart Phone Obsession 
If you are concerned that your smart device may be demanding more of your time than it should, ask yourself:

• Am I sleeping with my phone or checking it during the night?
• Do I feel compelled to respond to a text within seconds?
• How many times a day do I log into social media platforms? Is it excessive?
• Do I text or use my phone during mealtimes or while other people are trying to converse with me?
• Is my cell phone use causing family arguments or relationship problems?
• Am I purchasing apps, music, and phone-related items I cannot afford?

Tips for Detaching 
If you believe that you are too attached to your phone, tablet, or computer, it could be time for a hiatus. Try these three practical steps to begin detaching from your smart device:

1. Limit social media & email responses. Rather than waking up and checking notifications, tell yourself that you will eat a healthy breakfast, meditate, or work out BEFORE you take time to check your email or scan your Instagram feed.

2. Download an app that tracks your phone time. Chances are you are on your device more than you realize. Apps like Moment and BreakFree educate you about how much time you have wasted on your phone. That knowledge may be just the motivation you needed to make a change.

3. Turn off your phone for at least one hour each day. When possible, take the opportunity to be “unreachable” for a short period of time during your day. Power your phone down and take a deep breath knowing that you can function without your smart device, and (surprise!) even enjoy the peace and quiet.

Complete Harmony CA Rehab 
If compulsive cell phone use is a problem that co-occurs with your drug or alcohol addiction, Complete Harmony’s team of practitioners and addiction specialists can help. Join our family and begin to live life on healthier terms, without the need for technology overload. Dial 866.930.4673 to inquire about California addiction treatment and dual-diagnosis programs, or speak with a counselor about developing a customized recovery program for your needs.

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