The Pathology Of The Smartphone

The Pathology Of The Smartphone.

Smartphones are stealing our time, and according to Marcus Gilroy-Ware, he would like to claim it back this new year. I totally agree with him as our fixation and attachment to it sometimes makes it appear obsessional, creating an anxiety syndrome that perhaps the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders would categorise. In fact, during its research phase of the DSM-5, it did briefly study the excessive use of the smartphone within the context of addiction, but chose not to formalise it. If we were to adopt the addictive signs and symptoms for cell phone use, it will probably look like this, with a proviso that its overuse must cause significant harm in the individual’s life:

  1. A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
  2. Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.
  3. Preoccupation with smartphone use.
  4. Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
  5. Excessive use characterised by loss of sense of time.
  6. Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
  7. Tolerance. Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.
  8. Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable: Anger, tension, depression, irritability, restlessness.

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