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Mobile phone addiction "I HATE TO BE ALONE, so I call my partner at least 3 times a day: am I addicted?" asks Laura from London. I sense frustration in the tone of her voice, the idea of being an addict just doesn't feel right, and yet she recognises herself in a magazine's description of "mobile phone junkies". Is she addicted to her mobile phone? And what about you?

Wait a minute, wasn't addiction only about drugs? Well, more than 20 years ago, Orford argued that people are at risk of becoming addicted to objects and activities of which drugs are only a subset. In fact, we can call Addiction any compulsive behavior that produces pleasure and reduces internal discomfort. So how can we use this chunky definition to understand if we are actually addicted to a mobile phone or not? Two little “experiments” can provide an answer…

1- Have you got a smartphone with you whilst you are reading this article? Well, switch it off. Can you do that easily? If you are able to, you are not a good candidate for mobile phone addiction, since addicts finds it difficult to directly control their behaviour.

2- Now picture yourself doing something you really enjoy, for example eating chocolate. Concentrate on your feelings in the moment of maximum pleasure... mmmmh....Have you got comparably pleasant sensations when you use your mobile phone? If not, the likelihood of being an addict is not much, since experiencing a sense of “high” is a distinctive feature of addiction.

So, have you completed the 2 experiments? Sure? No cheating? Good. If both indicates the possibility of an addiction, do have a chat with a therapist about it, otherwise, I have good news for you:
you are not a mobile phone addict!

Comments

I am happy to see my phone switched off.. hurray!! but the sad part I realized I am a TV/video addict.. any suggestions to get out.

Thanks for your comment Muthu.

Funnily enough from a counseling/psychology perspective TV addictions is not studied. Video game addiction is very well known and understood, but not much on the TV front. I'll let you know if I find something truly useful.

Ciao

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