62% of UK consumers can’t imagine a life without their phone*. There’s no denying they’re a huge part of our lives.
Originally created for communication, our phones have more recently become our camera, diary, music players, calculators, sat-navs... the list goes on - is there anything they can't do?
But, how do you know if your usage is veering towards addition?
Here are some of the common signs that you may be a little too reliant on your phone:
you compulsively check your phone and notifications
Do you get the urge to check your phone even though you know there’s not going to be anything there? Do you check it automatically without meaning to? It’s a habit for many of us. You can check the number of ‘pick-ups’ in your phone settings - how many of these checks were necessary?
you feel anxious if your phone runs out of battery
Do you meticulously keep a check on your battery, carry a charger around with you and charge your devices often?
Even with careful checking, we can sometimes get caught short. How do you feel when you hit 1% or see the dreaded empty battery symbol? The fear or anxiety associated with being without a phone has been dubbed ‘nomophobia’.
you don’t leave the house without your phone
When did you last leave your phone at home? We don’t mean when you accidentally forgot to put it in your pocket. We mean when did you last leave your phone at home on purpose?
Our phones are never normally more than a few metres away from us. And when they aren’t, we search our bags or pat down our pockets trying to find them anyway.
you lose track of time while on technology
You’re scrolling social media or browsing the internet and suddenly an hour has gone by. If you’re browsing aimlessly for procrastination or a way of avoiding doing nothing, it’s likely that you would benefit from more control over your technology. Doing nothing can be great for cognitive capacity but over time we seem to have lost the art of doing nothing.
it impacts parts of your life at home and at work
Do you check your phone when you should be working or while in conversation with a friend or family member? We can be guilty of taking our phones out in restaurants, checking emails on the move and allowing notifications to interrupt conversations. There’s lots of research exposing multitasking as a myth. Attempting to multitask can be harmful for productivity and your personal relationships. What’s more it can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
are you nodding while reading this?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But, how do you get a better relationship with something that you need for everyday tasks, communication and work?
It’s important to set clear boundaries and practices that give you some space away from technology. With the right tools in place you can break bad habits and start using technology in a way that enhances productivity, communication and wellbeing.
Are you ready to take control of your devices? Take a minute to read our top tips on how to unplug and take a break.
*Research by International Advertising Bureau IL - The IAB Future Facing Mobile Study