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Am I addicted to my phone?

Am I addicted to my phone?? This has been going on since I was in Highschool where I priorities my time on my phone instead of studying or doing anything else productive. I always left my assignments and exams to the last minute and my sleep is also affected by it.


Ever since the virus it has become worse. Im behind in my uni class and I tell myself I’ll just catch up in the breaks but all I do is spend time on Twitter or Youtube or gaming apps. I lie in bed on my phone until 12am then I say to myself, “it’s ok, I’ll just sacrifice one night of sleep to catch up on work and it’ll be fine.” But I end up just going on my phone until 5am. It’s a never ending cycle and I now regularly stay up late. My average screen time per day is 6~9 hours.


I bring my phone everywhere including when I’m eating, going to toilet, and in the shower. I have 2 phones so that if one is charging I can use the other one. 


I tried limiting my time on my phone by setting screen time but I always ignore it. I’ve noticed my desire to go on my phone becomes stronger when I think about all my assignments and studies that I have ignored. Even now I’m procrastinating on an assignment that is due very soon.


is this addiction or am I just overreacting and just need a bit of self control? I mean, everyone procrastinates and uses their phone right? 

Sorry I’m not spamming, I’m new and not used to posting in the correct thread.

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

hi @C888r welcome to the reach out forums! I think if you're worried that it is something significantly impacting your life/health/sleep then maybe you could consider some strategies to put in place to help reduce your screen time. I know that I also procrastinate and go on my sometimes too but as for whether you are addicted to your phone that's a tricky question. Do you think you could try getting someone in your family to take your phones away to help you control it or leave your phones in a different room? Are there any particular environments that make you forget about being on your phone/make you stop wanting to be on your phone and focus on a different activity e.g. being with friends, playing sport etc. Maybe you could even consider associating rewards with not being on your phone or tell your friends/family so they can help keep you on track when they notice you're on your phone a lot? As for your studies when I feel assignments/tests piling up I like to write a lists and schedule on a calendar/diary when I'm going to complete them to help keep me on track. Do you think something like this could help you for your uni?

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hey C888r


Uni assignments are stressful and I totally get why you would end up using your phone sometimes - though it sounds like this might be becoming a bit frustrating for you!


As celestialdreamer said, I don't know if it would be an addiction, though I am not qualified to tell. However, It sounds like you would like to focus more time on assignments and maybe spend a few hours less on your phone anyways. Would you feel comfortable brainstorming some ways you might like to get started?


What do you think would work for you that you have not tried? I know there are some apps that actually block access to certain apps after a certain amount of time? Would you be open to trying something like this? If you are genuinely worried about it as a type of habit, you could also catch up with a GP for a discussion? Is this something you would be open to? 


How are you feeling about everything today?

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hi @C888r 


Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think this is something that a lot of people have felt at one time or another, especially during the pandemic when we are all staying inside and most of our socializing and entertainment is happening through our phones. 


I think the fact that you have recognised that you are ignoring assignments and other responsibilities and sacrificing sleep because of your phone use means that you feel like it has become a problem. Do you think this is how you feel?


The good news is there are always strategies that you can use to help. One very drastic measure you can take is to delete any apps that you feel like are taking up too much of your time. I often delete social media apps from my phone when I have to get a lot of work done. Sometimes I just leave my phone in another room. I also use the app "Flora" that lets you set timers to block you from using your phone for 25 or 50 minutes. Do you think that is something you could try?


A great way to get things done is to set little goals and reward yourself. Maybe you could try working on an assignment for 25 minutes with a phone blocker on, rewarding yourself with 5 minutes of phone time, and then repeating. Is this something that might work for you?

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hey @C888r, I wanted to say that I don't think you're alone in this! I've thought about this a lot myself and the conclusion I've heard most people come up with is that your phone is a great source of dopamine, 'feel good' hormones, which is easy to access. I imagine it's a bit like reaching for a chocolate bar or ice cream when you're feeling sad because you know it will probably cheer you up a little bit. But because it's an endless source of entertainment it can be hard to put down- I know I used to procrastinate on tumblr a LOT and would sacrifice sleep or time for my other hobbies to scroll forever, and then regret not spending my time more productively. I actually heard a story of someone who deleted Facebook off their phone and replaced it with the taxi app, and whenever they were sad they'd randomly find themselves on the taxi booking screen and not realise why! So definitely not an uncommon thing to be facing. 


I think the fact you're using it when you're stressing about assignments probably means you're just really stressed out in your general life Smiley Sad that might be something you can look on finding other ways to solve that are away from your phone, like making time for crafts or other activities. What do you think about this?

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hey @C888r 


Thanks for reaching out! Like the others said, I'm not in a position to diagnose, but I also think there are maybe some things you could try to help yourself. 

I use this app called Cold Turkey on my laptop. I'm not too sure there's one for phones, but I'm sure there are other apps. Basically, you choose some things to block so that you can't access the sites at all for a chosen amount of time. Maybe it'll help when you're doing assignments on a laptop or desktop? 


I also like the others' idea of asking someone in the family to keep your phones with them to hold you accountable. 


What else do you think might work? Heart

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hi @C888r !


I hope you are okay and adjusting well to the suggestions some of the other members have said. Whilst using your phone is nothing bad as its an amazing device with such power for information, communication, and entertainment, everything is best with moderation. I understand it can be particularly hard especially during COVID where we are more stuck at home, and going on the phone is such as addictive and easy escape, I do recommend that you try to balance things out more often and try to prioritize your studies, exercise, socialization, and being organized. As someone who procrastinated hard during high school, and developed some bad habits with putting off work and being stuck to a screen, I can definitely say that its best to work on yourself now when you have the time and space to do so before it conflicts with bigger and harder things like work, uni study / HSC, and your relationships. 


That has just been my experience with things, and I hope whichever way you decide to go, you end up happy and healthy!

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hi @C888r! Welcome to the forums!
I think what you're going through isn't uncommon. I often find myself checking my phone a lot too. I'm constantly unlocking my phone to look at my to-do lists and sometimes I don't get to sleep early because I want to play games on my phone until I sleep.
I think the suggestions on this thread are great. Smiley Happy How would you feel about writing a list of other activities that you can do instead of going on your phone? You could also reward yourself for doing a certain number of them a week. As others have mentioned, there are also apps you can use to try to encourage yourself to study and not look at your phone, such as Forest and Study Bunny.

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hi @C888r


I also have been spending more and more time on my phone, especially during COVID. I understand the impacts it can have for productivity and wellbeing! Something that has worked for me is turning off my notifications. This can be done for an hour or a whole day! Without the constant alerts I am less likely to check my phone. For some people completely turning off notifications can be abit drastic or even anxiety provoking, so there is always the option of muting some notifications and keeping the important ones on. Another strategy (that has worked for me) is putting my phone away when I am with friends or exercising. These activities keep me busy so if my phone is out of sight I sometimes forget about it!


Ultimately, our phones and many of its apps are designed to be addictive so the issue of spending lots of time on your phone is super common! Everyone has mentioned great ideas above, so hopefully you can find something that works for you. 

Re: Am I addicted to my phone?

Hi @C888r, there are already so many posts but I thought I'd just chime in quickly and say that there's nothing to feel bad about - these things are made to be as addictive as possible, unfortunately:<


I've really struggled with this as well with compulsively checking my email (I know, crazy right). Something I felt helped was doing a complete 32 hour tech detox (perhaps you could work up to this if you don't feel like going cold turkey right away - like doing 8hrs first) - it made me feel like I was kind of 'resetting' my system and was later able to concentrate better. 


Also another suggestion is to put the apps you feel like checking the most in a folder on your phone sort of buried away among other apps - this way the additional process of having to click through the folder to it makes you think about what you're doing; in a way it makes it less 'automatic' and helps you intervene with your own behaviour. I felt this helped me sooo much.