• Nondiah Khalayi

My take on smartphone addiction

Nondiah shares ways to know if you're addicted to your smartphone, something of importance in today's modernity.


Have you ever randomly checked your phone for calls or messages when it didn’t notify you? If you're nodding, then know that you could be addicted to your smartphone. Smartphone addiction is, unfortunately, the newest form of addiction. Even worse, Google Trends shows that there has been an increase in searches for "cell phone addiction."


So, how do you know you’re addicted to your smartphone?


You Check Your Phone Even Without Getting Any Notifications


You can be busy with work or in a meeting, and you unconsciously check your phone for WhatsApp, Facebook, or Instagram messages, all without getting notifications.


Sometimes you are expecting an important call or message that can make you keep checking your phone even when your notifications are not on silent. But if you are not waiting for any calls or messages and often find yourself looking at your smartphone regardless, you are definitely battling smartphone addiction.


You Cannot Do Anything Without Your Smartphone


Have you found yourself feeling less productive if you don't have your phone with you? Feeling like you cannot get much work done when your phone is away from you is an unhealthy phone addiction. It means you have wired your productivity to the availability of your smartphone.


On the contrary, always having your phone by your side reduces your overall productivity. For example, you can find yourself procrastinating and missing deadlines because you are constantly on your phone.


You Check Your Phone First Thing in the Morning


Do you sleep with your phone right under the pillow, and you check it first thing when you wake up? Waking up a couple of times in the night to check your phone is also a sign that you are addicted to your phone.


You Are Anxious, Irritated, and Lonely if Your Phone is Out of Sight


You are addicted to your smartphone when you feel anxious or even irritated when it is away from you. You could also feel lonely because you feel like a part of you is missing. A smartphone is just a technological device that shouldn’t necessarily substitute for your mental wellness when you subject yourself to anxiety, stress, and panic when it is out of sight.


Your Friends and Family Question Your Phone-Use Habits


People around you have noticed and questioned your constant phone use. And, interestingly, you could have denied that you are not addicted to your phone.


But the fact that your friends and family have noticed that your phone is always in your pocket, you are quick to reply to messages even if you are doing something else more productive, or are ever browsing through your phone at mealtimes shows that something is wrong.


What Now?


Do you relate to any of these signs? It is time to watch how you use your smartphone. It's important not to get trapped in your phone and the endless forms of entertainment it can provide. Sometimes, just meeting people, getting a fresh breath of air, and forgetting about your phone can immensely help your mental health and overall wellbeing. I live in Kenya, and regardless of the distance I may be from some of you, smartphone addiction is a universal problem and needs to be addressed.