“You Know You’re A Smartphone Addict If”

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Nomophobia isn’t the fear of not getting any more of something. It’s the scientific term for the fear of not having your smartphone. Sufferers of nomophobia are easy to spot because they appear unable to free their hand from their mobile device. According to scientists and experts, mankind is currently experiencing a mass volume mobile device addiction crisis. (Global warming, however, is still a myth.) For a hundred logical reasons, smartphones have become America’s third hand. (Or fourth leg.) Men, women, privileged children, and some really fortunate animals have lent so much of their souls to their digital companions that it seems we can literally no longer live without them.

I’ve no data on the withdrawal symptoms of going without one’s device, but I’m sure they include classic signs of personal torment such as irritation, suicidal thoughts, intense scratching, etc. Smartphone addiction is real, and the first step to fighting it is recognizing the signs. Time to take a look at the man (or woman) in the mirror. Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you willingly put yourself in harm’s way just to use your smartphone. And I don’t mean use the phone to make an important call, I mean checking social media while you’re driving down the freeway. I mean looking at your favorite website on the sales floor when you’re already in the red zone with your boss. I mean watching YouTube and chopping onions simultaneously. I mean going live on Facebook during a nighttime traffic stop. This is no different than being hooked on cocaine and the ramifications can be just as devastating.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you take your phone with you into unusual or unnecessary places and situations. For example, into the bathroom when it’s time to shower. You have no intention of using the phone while you’re under the water — even though you could if you wanted to because it’s water-resistant — but you need it near you. Just knowing that at some point it will gleefully whiz and purr for you, like an attention-starved toddler, keeps you tethered. That, my dope fiend friends, is addiction. Just like cigarettes and porn. Possibly worse than porn because your phone delivers porn to your proverbial doorstep. The rabbit hole deepens, the cycle continues.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you’ve ever dropped your phone – in the toilet, in your food, out of a window (car or building), on your face as you fall asleep, in the bathtub, on your kid’s head, into a cage at the zoo, on your partner’s back — or front — during sex, between the washer and dryer, into a casket, behind some bushes, as your stood to pray at church…you get the idea.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you sleep with it under your pillow. Why does the user feel the need to have their phone there to begin with? Maybe they think they’ll be in need of an emergency selfie at 2:30 in the morning. Maybe there will be some global emergency and your Twitter notifications will be the only thing to save you. Nope, none of that. It’s smartphone addiction. And God forbid the devices burst into flames. Be careful out there, people.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you rely on its functions to do everything for you. You no longer attempt to remember dates and/or phone numbers. Instead of looking for addresses you wait for your device’s navigation voice to tell you to stop. You loaded your bank cards onto your phone and haven’t reached for your wallet since you last searched for a prophylactic. You’ve successfully integrated with a piece of hardware. Welcome to the future.

You know you’re a smartphone addict if: you spend more time in social media than in the real world. This could also be a sign of a bigger, more depressing issue or condition, but for the sake of time and energy, we’ll blame it on the nomophobia.

Here’s the thing. It’s only a matter of time before the machines make themselves our masters and The Terminator series goes from movie franchise to historical docu-drama, so I advise you stick close to your smartphone. That way you have at least one ally. But beyond that, be mindful. Seek help. Crack addiction usually ends in prostitution and death. Let’s hope for a better outcome with this.

And on a more positive note, just by clicking this story, you’re making progress, guys. And I’m proud of you.

Words by Tony Grands | tgdcmailbox@gmail.com

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