A modern date often involves two people who are not talking unless it is into a couple of smartphones. It seems the Koreans are the worst - in June 2013 Korea reached the top slot in the number of smartphones per capita with a related amount of smartphone addiction.
How do you know if you have smartphone addiction?
Most types of addiction have some similar defining characteristics. For example, whatever the addiction is, it is the first thing a person thinks about when they wake up in the morning. Then there are other symptoms that relate more specifically to the addiction.
If you can answer 'yes, I agree', to more than 7 of the following, then you are in the smartphone addiction frame.
⇒ It is a bit irritating that I have to charge my phone more than once a day.
⇒ I check my phone before I even get out of bed in the morning.
⇒ Last thing I do at night is check my phone.
⇒I look at my phone as soon as it pings with a new notification, even if I'm in the middle of a conversation.
⇒I admit it, I often use my phone when people are talking to me.
⇒I am constantly finding new apps and new ways to use my phone.
⇒I use my phone in the cinema and when I'm watching the TV - well some movies and TV is boring.
⇒I get annoyed if anybody asks me to turn my phone off.
⇒I keep my phone beside me all the time.
⇒OK, so I take my phone to the loo with me, or the bathroom.
⇒Losing my phone is just about the worst thing that could happen to me ever.
Exercise rehab, creative therapies and CBT can help.
A paper published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation has researched the ability of different therapies to treat internet and smartphone addiction. The paper concludes that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness, Therapeutic recreation, Music Therapy (in particular drumming), Art Therapy and Exercise Rehabilitation have all shown evidence for being effective treatments for internet addiction. The paper also concludes that the argument as to whether behavioural treatments or complementary treatments should be used preferentially is irrelevant as the treatment is most effective when it is personalised and involves patient choice.
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