Is Cell Phone Addiction A Real Problem For People Like You and Me?

Is Cell Phone Addiction Real?
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Is Cell Phone Addiction Real?

With almost everyone walking around with a cell phone of some sort now days, it’s inevitable that someone would look into whether people can become addicted to their phone or not.

Way back in 2016 (wow, that’s like 3 years ago! Does time fly, or what?) Sarah Klein wrote an article titled “4 Ways Your Phone Is Stressing You Out – And How To Take Back Control.” Sarah began her post by observing that, according to research from the PEW Research Center, 92% of American adults had a cell phone, and nearly 33% never turned them off.

Looking back at me and my own phone, I fall into that last category. I haven’t turned mine off since I can’t remember when. Even when charging, I leave it on, night and day.

While Sarah’s article didn’t discuss addiction, the 4 “stresses” she mentioned just might point in that direction.

Let’s take a minute and review what they are.

1. Low Battery Anxiety.

Do you suffer from LBA? Do you begin to panic when you get that “LOW BATTERY” indication on you screen?

I usually don’t, but I have to clarify that a little. There is one time when I do. Here’s when:

I use an app called iBiker when I ride my bicycle, and it tracks my distance, speed, route, gain or drop in elevation, and such. It’s a big deal to me to log my miles, because I have an annual goal that I’m trying to reach.

Using the app, and also listening to music, can drain the battery fairly quickly. If I haven’t finished my ride and I get a low battery notification, I begin to worry about the phone shutting down before I finish the ride and therefore losing some of my mileage.

That’s why I use a power pack when I ride. After a couple of hours in the saddle, the cell phone battery begins to get used up. The power pack solves that problem and keeps it charged while I ride.

When I’m not riding, I’m not too worried about having a low battery, so I guess I have “situational” LBA. Is that a thing?

According to Sarah, the major symptom of LBA is asking a complete stranger if you can borrow a charger.

The next time you fly, take notice of all the people waiting for flights with their phones plugged in somewhere. you’ll find them sitting on the floor or wherever they can find an outlet.There have even been TV commercials with phone users hunting down a way to charge their phones.

2. Phantom Vibration Syndrome

I’ve had this one happen too, more often than I want to admit. This is when you “feel” a buzz in your pocket and immediately reach for your phone, only to realize that you imagined the whole thing.
I keep my phone on vibrate, with the ringer turned off, so I’m probably more susceptible to this than most. I do that mainly because I play a couple of games on the phone, like Solitaire, and Sudoku, and I don’t like the accompanying bells, whistles, and applause type noises.

I rely on my Apple Watch and my phone’s vibration to let me know when someone’s contacting me.

I admit that I”ve missed a call or two this way, but I catch most of them.

3. Have You Heard The Term Nomophobe?

That’s the third stressor. You have nomophobia if you’re afraid of being without your phone. I guess there’s a phobia for everything now. I had to think about that one for a few minutes, and, since I’m always forgetting my phone or leaving it lying around somewhere, I’m not a nomophobe.

My phone is not my security blanket.

4. Another New Term – FOMO

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I guess those who suffer from this stressor are always checking their phones to see if they have any new messages or communications with other people.

FOMO sufferers also start to get nervous when what they think is too much time passes without a communication. They start to think that people are purposely avoiding them, or excluding them from the “group.”

In most cases, this is an irrational fear. People driving through deserts and mountains where there isn’t a cell tower within range must become basket cases by the time they get back in range.

Looking back over the four stresses that Sarah listed in her article, I am of the opinion that numbers 1, 3, and 4 could be partial indicators of at least a mild addiction to the phone. I’m giving #2 a pass, because it’s more of a conditioned response that an addiction.

Somebody Came Up With A Test!

Dr. David Greenfield, PhD, of the Center For Internet and Technology Addiction at the University of Connecticut developed a “SMARTPHONE COMPULSION TEST.” Check it out, it’ll give you an idea of your level of addiction to your phone. Maybe you’re one of those people who don’t have a problem.

It’s not that long a test, and it makes you think a little bit.

I guess cell phone addiction is a real thing, otherwise there wouldn’t be PhD’s at major Universities studying it. A lot of people have addictive personalities, and the cell phone is just one more thing that people latch onto and can’t do without.

Imagine how bad it is for teenagers, but that’s a subject for another post.

Thanks for reading. I know your time is valuable so I appreciate it. I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond. Now for a slight change of subject.

Update:  I just learned that the Masters golf tournament has banned cell phones in the gallery on the course.  It’s worth the read.

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Thanks again. I’m Grant.

I absolutely love what I read in this insightful article because it is full of great information. This is fascinating and interesting to me. Cell phone addiction is a real problem for everyone using it, it’s a time consuming problem. Most people take care and uses it more than their partner. I believe it’s a real course to study in school also. Thanks for the information, best regards 

Thanks for your comment.  We all need to realize what’s going on with our phones.  It’s a great convenience to be able to carry one around, but when it begins to rule our lives, we need to take control and rule it.

Hallo there Grant, 

I also have to admit, use of cellphones is now becoming very addictive. 

Speaking for myself, I suffer from the 1st and the 4th worries, although the the first is like yours, situational.

I tend to worry that my phone might go off and miss an important call. 

I recently saw a video that shows how people have ended up in hospitals by being so engaged by their phones that they fall in pits and ditches.

This is really serious if you think about it.

I have been taking measure to reduce this addiction by trying to get off most of the social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. 

This way I am only concerned about the serious things with my phone.

Thanks for this reminder.

 People should really think about how they use their phones and how it affecting their normal lives.

Hi, Dave.  Thanks for commenting on my post.  You know that cell phone addiction has become a major problem when people are getting hurt because of it.  There are times when you need to leave the phone alone, like when you are driving, or otherwise engaged in activity that should take priority, and if you can’t do it, you’re definitely addicted.  I’ve seen people passing me on the highway who are staring at their phone while driving.  Makes me nervous.

Wow! This article really makes you think!

I’ll admit, I was a little nomophobic a few years ago. It caused me great anxiety not to have my phone on or around my person. This was probably partially due to the fact that I needed to communicate with clients for business purposes.

I’ve come a long way! 

It’s very sad to see an entire family sitting together at a table and every person is on their cell phone. They may as well be sitting by themselves. 

Thank you for sparking my interest with this great article!

All the best, 


Nice comment, Darci.  It is pretty funny that people will sit around each other and instead of talking directly they are texting on their phones.  I think we lose something important when we stop connecting face-to-face with friends and family.  You must have watched the video.  Some of those pictures are sad, some are hilarious!

Hi Grant, 

I am a huge phone addict. But I believe they are for lucrative reasons. I am an online business woman, so I make most of my living from my phone. Just like most people are stressed by their work places so am I stressed by my handy work place, my phone. 

I am a wealthy affiliate member and I have to be online most of the time because I have a lot to learn and a lot of building to do. I don’t want to miss out on anything that is going on in the platform. 

Good comment.  Of course you’re going to be on your phone a lot if it’s your livelihood.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing if you learn to live with and compensate for the stress you feel.  Just remember, you’re not stressed if you don’t feel stressed.  I also don’t think it’s a bad addiction to have if you handle it right.

Thanks for writing this article on cell phone addiction, I must commend you for a well done job for taking your time to do your findings and research before writing it. Cell phone addiction is really a big problem almost everyone on this earth face on a daily basis one way or the other, as bad as it is there is no how we can do away with our phone.but seems we can remove the part phone take in our lives it is important for us to reduce the amount of stress we pass through each day from the use of the phone to avoid negative healthy issue 

Thank you for commenting.  I wonder how the addiction problem will change as technology advances.  Maybe someday communication devices will be implanted in us so we don’t have to carry them around and we can activate and use them with our thoughts.  Who knows?

I think its an addiction! 

Wow, what a statistic 33% is a screaming number!  I just did the test and OMG; my score is 8 out of 15 = VERY BAD results, looks like i do belong to this 33 %. I am trying to reduce using my phone, but I should work on it even harder. 

Actually, your recommendation to try the Wealthy Affiliate is excellent. Instead of spending my time with a phone I can invest it in building my own business. Affiliate marketing seems to be a very lucrative business nowadays. 

Thanks for sharing this great post!

Thanks for your comment.  Actually, although I didn’t say so in my post, I really don’t see anything wrong with heavy cell phone usage unless it starts interfering with other important things, like connecting directly with people.  It’s possible to take it to the extreme, though, which is what we should watch out for.


This is a very interesting topic about a growing issue nowadays. As time goes by, technology evolves and it seems that people are getting more dependant on their smartphones. I think some people are really addicts to their cellphones, and spend too much time using it, including myself. However, I don’t think I am among the most cellphone addict people, even though the test suggested me to see a psychiatrist. I don’t suffer any of the situations you mentioned in your article, and I usually spend some days without using my phone. 

I hope your article helps people realise that they are using their phone too much and maybe disconnect for a while.



Hi, Mariana.  Great comment.  I agree with you that some people how have heavy phone usage aren’t necessarily addicted.  Sometimes it’s just the best form of communication.  I kinda think that a lot of teenagers are becoming addicted though.  A good test would be if you prefer to text someone in the room rather than talk to them.  Then you may have a problem.



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