Addiction to mobile phones: when a gadget becomes extension of your hand
Wide spread of cellular phones and their availability resulted in more and more dependency on mobile gadgets among people. Walking through the street you can’t help but meet people with mobile phones in their hands, but of course not all of them are cellphone addicts. We talk about such dependence, when a man can’t live without favorite device, when he constantly checks his phone either by some reason or even without it, when he is obsessed by fixed ideas concerning everything, connected with mobile phones and technologies.
It can be absurd from the first sight, but obsession with modern smartphones is similar to any other psychological dependence (shopaholism, addiction to computer games etc.), and it is destructive by its nature. So, addiction to mobile phones may cause stress, nervousness, low self-concept and even mental disorder. Besides that addicts lose ability to communicate with people in real life, their relations with close ones get worsened, sometimes addicts even lose their jobs. But where is the border between healthy interest to modern gadgets and total mania? Let’s try to sort it out.
Symptoms of mobile phone dependence
A modern cellphone is not just a device for communication, but a small computer with many functions. It is normally, that many people use its functions to make their life easier. However some people are getting totally fixed on their mobile phones. The symptoms are the following:
- Desire to call just for nothing. The addicts can make calls very often and to everybody listed in the phone book. In real conversation they are often not able to say a word;
- SMS-mania. Obsessive desire of writing SMS to everybody. This sort of cell phone mania is mostly typical for school children and students. This form of communication prevails over telephone conversation, even if making a call is a faster and cheaper way;
- Frequent update of “a mobile friend". Cellphone addicts tend to search for latest novelties in the world of mobile industry; they want each their new gadget be more functionally and technologically advanced. Although they don't use even a part of phone functions it has;
- Nervousness in the absence of the phone. In case a cellphone addict forgets his gadget at home or it is unavailable by some reason, panic takes place. The addict finds himself closed from the outer world, he is unhappy and can be aggressive;
- Wating for a call. The mobile phone is always and everywhere with his master - in the kitchen, the bathroom, WC. The man is afraid of missing a call, he often checks up the indicator of the phone;
- Desire for constant uploading a new content to the gadget. No matter, if it is themes, pictures or games - it is necessary to fill the cellphone with novelties;
- Decorating the gadget with bedazzlers, trinkets etc. Buying new cell phone cases;
- Wasting big money for cell communication;
- Having several SIM cards. Presently many smartphones are provided with slots for two or even three SIM cards, and phone admirers use this property, but not because having several numbers is convenient for them, but just for the sake of possessing them;
- Demonstrating the phone to people around or desire to have it always behind one's eyes;
- Unwilling to separate wit beloved device even for a minute. Fear and irritability, if someone takes it to see.
Diagnosis of mobile phone addiction
There is no official dependence called mobile mania or phone mania. But people, who became addicted to mobile gadgets, are twice as real. The addiction can be diagnosed by the given above symptoms. There are three groups of cell phone addicts, recognized by many psychologists:
“Partly addicted”. They widely use properties of modern smartphones (the web, player, free messages, camera etc.) and spend quite a lot of time with the gadget. But they are not really addicted to mobiles - they don't have obsessive thoughts and don't feel anxiety, when the phone is not available;
“Prosthetic addicts”. They feel like fish out of water, if they don’t have a mobile together with them, but still they can overcome this condition. Besides mobile technologies they have also other interests, but often forget about it because of their addiction;
Â«CyborgsÂ». Can’t imagine their life without a phone in their hands. Other interests are absent.
Treatment and precautions for mobile phone dependence
If you feel you have become “a cyborg” or close to that, it’s time to take measures. There is no special treatment for mobile addiction. But it is a good practice to visit a psychologist or a psychotherapeutist to define the reasons of your dependence and learn to communicate in real world. Probably sedatives and tranquilizers will be prescribed.
The general treatment, as well as preventive measures, depends on the addict himself. First of all he needs to have limits for call time, for example, 10 minutes. Such period of time is optimal for discussing really important things. The number of SMS should be also limited to 10-15 messages a day.
Find a special place for your cell phone in the flat; there is no need to have it everywhere with you. Don’t place it under your pillow, for it won’t bother you at night. Thus you will considerably improve the quality of your sleep. Try not to take your phone with you, when you leave home for a short period of time â€“ to take out the trash, walk the dog or visit a nearby shop.
There must be a certain limit on cell communication. As a variant you may use a tariff plan with fixed price.
Use of an old-fashioned cellphone will help to forget of phone addiction. For that reason you may use your first mobile phone, if you still keep it, or ask for one of your familiars. Give your upgraded gadget to your good friend for some time. The symptoms of mobile phone addiction will become weaker in a week or two.
The most radical method is to turn off your phone for 24 hours and don't come close to it. You will be surprised, how many interesting things you can do besides using your mobile functional.