The Digital Drug: Understanding and Treating Mobile Phone Addiction

The Digital Drug: Understanding and Treating Mobile Phone Addiction

Kimberly Young (St. Bonaventure University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch064
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Internet addiction has been exacerbated by the proliferation of mobile technology. Users have moved beyond traditional notions of Internet addiction and new problems associated with mobile phone use have risen. This technology is needed for many functional reasons such as shopping, making airline reservations, and making hotel reservations. What happens when this becomes too much connectivity and health problems occur? This article looks at mobile phone addiction. Similar to Internet addiction, the symptoms associated with mobile phone addiction, the risk factors, and the overall impact on mental health and personal well-being are explored. Consequences and new strategies in dealing with mobile use and addiction at home and work are discussed. Most significantly, this article provides an inside look at the first US-based inpatient treatment center treating Internet and mobile phone addiction. Finally, new concerns raised by mobile technologies and their impact for addiction in next digital generation are explored.
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Signs Of Mobile Phone Addiction

Mobile phone technology and use has grown substantially over the last few years. Time magazine's Techland section conducted a massive, fascinating international poll of 5,000 Americans, Britons, South Koreans, Chinese, Indians, South Africans, Indonesians, and Brazilians, and found -- quite unsurprisingly if you have been following smartphone addiction stats -- that everyone in the entire world is unable to simply leave their phone in their pockets. The Time survey paints an unmistakable portrait of a world collectively staring at a tiny display screen for hours and hours of every day. Among the incredible evidence of our impending cybernetic future from the piece:

  • 84 percent of respondents said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones.

  • 50 percent of Americans sleep with their phone next to them like a teddy bear or a spouse, a number that includes more than 80 percent of 18-24 year olds.

  • 20 percent of respondents check their phone every 10 minutes.

  • 24 percent said they had used text messages to set up a rendezvous with someone they were having an affair with, a number that includes 56 percent of Chinese respondents.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Addiction: A general term used to identify compulsive behaviors.

Treatment: An intervention or therapy technique.

Recovery: Being sober from an addiction.

Internet Addiction, Smartphone Addiction, Mobile Phone Addiction: Similar terms used to describe compulsive behaviors associated with the Internet and technologies.

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