Smartphone Addiction

Although cell phones allow individuals to have unlimited access to information and to connect with others in a way otherwise thought impossible, there are many harmful and disturbing effects of smartphone dependence. Cell phone addiction, sometimes referred to as problematic mobile phone use, is a behavioral addiction thought to be similar to that of an Internetgamblingshopping, or video game addiction and leads to severe impairment or distress in one’s life.

Signs and Symptoms of Smartphone Addiction

Some major signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction include:

  1. Tolerance.
  2. Withdrawal.
  3. Failed attempts to cut back on smartphone use.
  4. Loses track of time when using mobile phone.
  5. Uses cell phone in order to deal with unwanted emotions.
  6. Text neck.

Teens and Cell Phone Addiction

Teens are extremely vulnerable to developing a cell phone addiction. The human brain isn’t fully developed until about 25 years of age. Adolescents who become dependent on their smartphones could experience negative alterations in brain development.


There is decreased brain connectivity in teens who suffer from a cell phone addiction.5

Problems in the parts of the brain that are responsible for decision-making, impulse-control, and emotional regulation.

Teens with a smartphone addiction are more likely to drink alcohol, use tobacco, and have poor diets.

These teens may experience social isolation due to excessive cell phone use.

How to Help a Loved One with a Smartphone Addiction

If you’ve been upset or frustrated by your loved one’s excessive phone use while in your presence, you are not alone.

Your loved one may suffer from a cell phone addiction or nomophobia, the fear of being without a mobile phone, if he or she exhibits these signs or symptoms:

  1. Appears anxious when phone battery is low.
  2. Panics if cell phone is misplaced or service is unavailable.
  3. Spends more time connecting online than connecting with people in real life.
  4. Sleeps with the smartphone on or under the pillow.
  5. Uses the phone in dangerous situations such as driving.
  6. Has his or her smartphone on the table during meals.
  7. Believes the cell phone to have rung or vibrated when it hasn’t.

Treatment for Addiction

There are various types of treatment for those with a cell phone addiction. This could be as simple as making rules for yourself and downloading apps on your phone to cut down usage. Or, for more severe cases, there are different therapy methods and treatment centers available.

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