Do You Have a Lockdown-Induced Smartphone Addiction?

We are probably all aware that we (or others) spend too much time glued to our electronic devices, but endless months of pandemic-induced ‘house arrest’ may have tipped some people towards a full-blown addiction.

Below are six signs lockdown has left you with a smartphone addiction and what to do about it.

You Can’t SleepThe blue light emitted by phones and other devices messes with melatonin – the hormone that makes you sleepy – making it harder to drift off.
You Feel AnxiousJust because you check your phone a lot does not mean you are addicted, but if the mere thought of not having it to hand worries you, this could indicate you have become dependent.
You’re Stressed Out by Social MediaConstantly scrolling through your news feed means you are more likely to compare yourself to others, feel like you are missing out or get annoyed by what you see and read.
You Can’t Stop Checking Your PhoneA classic sign of addiction is feeling compelled to look at your phone every time you stand still or sit down, while eating dinner and even during activities where it is dangerous to
do so – such as driving.
You Lose TimeIf you find yourself coming back to reality after a scrolling session and wondering where the last hour has gone, it could indicate you have a problem.
You Text More Than TalkYou may find yourself communicating with people via text more often than face to face. This can, in turn, increase feelings of isolation.

How to Break the Cycle

Try a Social Media FastSet a time limit to stay offline and stick to it.
Track your UsageApps such as Moment and BreakFree help you monitor the time you spend scrolling. You might be quite shocked by the results.
Texting!Instead of texting your friend, arrange for a chat or a socially distanced coffee.
Table MannersPower down during every meal and definitely turn your phone off while driving. Even better – put it somewhere well out of reach, like the boot.
Exercise MoreIt sounds simple but every moment spent working out is a moment not wasted online. Physical activity also releases endorphins which improve your mood – bonus!

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