71% of people sleep with or next to their cell phones.  And 35% of people think of their cell phone when they wake up while only 10% think of their spouse.  But to be honest these stats aren’t shocking.  And given that they are from 2015. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are now higher.  

Cell phones have linked us together for communication, a basic human need.  And has allowed us to have unlimited information at our fingertips.  

 So it’s no surprise  44% of Americans say they couldn’t go a day without their cell phone.   But the question is, are we addicted?    And that’s what we will answer in today’s video

 

 

The word addicted has joined ranks with many words that have lost their meaning over time.  Words like “Love”, “awesome” or my pet peeve “literally”.  

Addicted means “physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance or behavior, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects”

So when someone says I’m addicted to Pizza.  I’m pretty sure they are not meaning That they will experience adverse effects if they stop consuming pizza.

However, I do believe that I can honestly say that I am addicted to my phone.  

In this video I identify 7 signs of addiction. These 7 things can also be applied to any other behavior addiction (shopping, pornography, gambling, gaming or food)

 

7 Signs of Addiction

1. Are your relationships are impacted by your use.  

Has your spouse asked you to put away your phone?  Have your kids commented on your phone or technology use?   There is no prescribed amount that indicates an addiction; however, when your behavior negatively impacts your relationships it is a warning sign that your phone use is problematic

 

2.   Physical impacts

Has your health been negatively impacted?  For a phone addiction, it’s good to consider it a warning sign if your experiencing neck and back issues or eye strain and headaches.  

 

3. You put yourself in dangerous situations

We have all heard many times that texting while driving is as dangerous or more dangerous than driving drunk.  But yet many people have continued to put themselves in harm’s way because they are can’t resist checking or responding.  An we have all seen the videos of people walk int poles, fall down stairs and even walk into traffic all while staring at their phone. 

 

4. Build up the tolerance

What was once a way to de-stress and check the news at night has now morphed into the primary way we spend our downtime.  Now we now regularly sit on couches watching the tiny screen in our hands for hours  

 

5. Failed attempts to overcome the behavior

Have you made attempts in the past to reduce or eliminate your phone usage only to quickly return to the habit?  

This one hits home for me.  I developed the habit of playing on my phone in bed and have discovered that I have the urge to check my phone each night before turning out the light. 

 

6. Preoccupied thoughts

I have experienced this when I left my phone at home for the afternoon.  I was uncomfortable and fidgety, I kept thinking of ways of how to get my phone.  I would reach for my phone forgetting that it wasn’t there. For hours my thoughts were pre-occupied with my phone. 

 

7. Losing track of time

It was eye-opening when I started to regularly look at the time used on my phone.  I was shocked to see the number of hours I was spending on social media and games.  What we may think are just a few moments to relax, turns in to hours in front of the screen. 

 

Use this video for self-reflection and share it with others. If you have identified with more then one of these signs of addiction have hope,  You are not a bad person or foolish.  You are a human and you are responding to stress, and negative feelings.   

But Addiction is not what God intended for our lives.   Addiction can consume our thoughts and dictate our behavior but God’s intention for us to live in freedom.