Do you feel like your phone is an extension of your hand? Do you reach for the phone immediately upon waking? Do you get anxious or panic when your phone isn’t within reach? Are you reading this on your phone right now? You may have an addiction to your smartphone. You’re not alone. Over 70% of Americans now own smartphones, and a good many of us spend hours a day with our faces buried in them, oblivious to the world around us. On average, the majority of us check those phones once every 15 minutes and at least 50 percent of the U.S. population say they can’t live without their smartphones.
There’s no doubt that smartphones have been a boon to society. Technology has made our lives easier in countless ways, but the constant connection and distraction it brings is also taking a toll on our health, relationships, mental well-being, and attention spans. Studies have shown that there is an association between the overuse of technology and the increase in anxiety, stress, feelings of isolation and depression, insomnia, and overall dissatisfaction with life, just to name a few. If the thought of a drained battery or accidentally forgetting your phone sends you into panic mode, you may want to consider putting yourself on a digital detox. Unplugging for even a few minutes, an hour or an entire weekend can make a huge difference.