Quiz: Are You Addicted To Your Phone?

Quiz: Are You Addicted To Your Phone?
Isn’t it amazing we were able to keep ourselves entertained before these hand held devices came into our lives?  Today we carry them with us 24/7 and use them to fill any void.  We do this without thinking about possible unintended consequences.  Existing research indicates that cell phone use can result in increased anxiety, reduced happiness, changes in social interaction and addiction.

A study of college students performed by Lepp, Barkley and Karpinsky found that frequent cell phone use leads to higher anxiety, lower grades and a reduction in happiness.  If this also holds true for employed individuals, the organizations they work may be experiencing a reduction in productivity as a result.  Furthermore, if we exclude the performance factor, high anxiety and reduced happiness could result in a number of stress related illnesses later in life including cardiovascular disorders such as coronary heart disease (i.e. heart attacks and angina) and hypertension.

Social interactions have also changed drastically as a result of increased cell phone use. Today people have entire conversations with one another via text message and never see the person’s facial expressions or hear the tone of their voice.  This can lead to misunderstandings between the sender and recipient of the message due to an interpretation error.  Texting has even reached a point where delicate conversations such as breaking up with someone are now done electronically.  Therefore, social interactions via text message enable people to avoid dealing directly with the hard things in life and teaches them to take the easy way out.  Ira Hyman, Ph.D. has examined cell phone use in detail and urges older individuals not to judge the social interactions of today’s young adults.  He takes the stance that the way in which young adults are using their cell phones does not mean they are addicted to them but rather indicates that they rely on them to communicate and interact with others. However, Michelle Hackman, who performed a study on cell phone use addiction for a science fair, would likely disagree.  In her study Ms. Hackman found that cell phones serve as a stimulant for many individuals. Since addictions are caused by stimulants (i.e. drugs or alcohol), she concluded that cell phone use can be considered an addiction. Does this mean every cell phone user is addicted to their phone?  No, but then not everyone who drinks is addicted to alcohol.

Therefore, the next time you are out at your favorite restaurant and you see a majority of the people in the room buried in their cell phones, ask yourself, are they just passing the time or are they addicted? Do you think you may have a smartphone addiction? Take this quiz to find out!


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