Do you live your life through your mobile cell phone, finding it hard to leave the house without it with you? If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your text messages or mobile email and the last thing you do is send an SMS to a friend then you could be suffering from an unhealthy addiction to your cell phone.
For those who suffer from this problem, it is not only a potential drain on their bank balance with increased costs for using their phones, it can also affect their quality of life. Suffers have reported anxiety attacks if they discover they do not have their phone with them, or for example if they are unable to check their email.
With the growing integration of social networking sites into the home screen of modern mobile phones, it is likely that this problem will only grow, feeding on the habits of the users who keep in touch with friends via those networking sites. For manufacturers this is an obvious step, given the power of new phones and the ready availability of data connections as it helps attract new users to their phones. For the mobile carriers this makes sense as well, because more phones and more demand, means greater data usage and higher charges.
However, if access to social networking portals is available around the clock, without the need for a computer, it can be expected that one addiction will feed the other so users need to view this change with some caution. This is particularly so for parents where they may feel their children are safe from online threats because computers are monitored or have suitable protective parental controls in place. Now, with the power of mobile cell phones and the integration of technologies, anything available online is now also available on a cell phone.
For those with limits to how much they can spend on a mobile each month, there is a check of sorts to their use, as once credit has expired the services are also limited. But what if this is not a factor; how can someone avoid the problems of cell phone addiction?
Firstly agree times when the phone will be turned off and tell people that they will not be able to make contact during those times. Whilst this may be hard at first, it should soon become apparent that the world does not end if a message is not responded to straight away.
If email is a problem, agree that work email will not be checked and responded to over weekends, or of an evening.
If the phone must remain switched on, because the user is in a situation where they are on call 24 hours a day, set up different ring tones to identify work and social calls. This can help reduce the stress sometimes felt when a call is received.
Put the phone out of site and do not always carry it around, particularly at meal times. Concentrate on one activity at a time and if necessary set a specific time to update social networking sites.