Smartphones have become essential to us, we simply cannot live without them. Everywhere you go, people are messaging, talking, scrolling and watching videos. We absolutely love these little gadgets. They have made our lives easier and quicker and if we want to know anything at all, we just put in the details and the answer is right in front of us. The UK has the highest percentage of smartphone users in the world at 82.2%. That’s a lot of users. But would you say that you’re addicted to your smartphone? If you answer ‘yes’ to one or more of these 5 questions then you are a smartphone addict:
- Do you check your phone first thing when you wake up?
50% of people admit to reaching out for their smartphone as they’re waking u
2. Do you check your phone more than 47 times a day?
This is the average number of times
3. Do you spend more than 4 hours 15 minutes on your smartphone in a day?
This is the average amount of time spent
4. Can you leave home without your smartphone?
67% of people would never leave home without their smartphone
5. Could you go one day a week without looking at your smartphone?
66% of people suffer with nomophobia (no mobile phobia), it is a real condition and means that people are literally scared of not having their mobile with them
So what does this tell us? Well we all know that too much social media makes people feel depressed and anxious. We also know that a digital detox improves our mood, lifts our spirits and makes us feel more positive. So why do we keep these little devices attached to our hands? The answer is simple – FEAR!
Fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of not being available, fear of not responding quickly, fear of missing a business call, the fears go on and on…. The crazy thing is that we are in control, and sometimes it’s more important for our well-being to switch it off and reconnect with the real world around us. Taking a walk or a bath or just listening to the birds will reduce stress and put things into perspective. When we’re more positive we’re also more empowered.
So you are the boss and you’re in control. There’s no need for you to be a smartphone addict with a constant craving for connectivity. You have a life beyond this device. Manage how much time you spend with your smartphone. If you have a fear about losing business calls, then remember that you can always use the call divert option and let someone else answer the calls. These little tools are great but we shouldn’t let them take over our lives.
Research resources Statista.com, YouGov and ONS