It’s no secret that cell phones are a big part of life in the 21st Century. Just about everyone owns a smartphone now, and today’s teenagers will probably never know a world where they can’t instantly send a text to their friends or look something up on the Internet whenever they want. Some have said that cell phones are actually addictive, and that too much time on a smartphone could be an indicator of future drug use. While that may sound like an exaggeration, there may be some truth to it.
Yes, Cell Phones Are Addictive
According to several studies that have been done in recent years, people can become addicted to their cell phones. Not only do they receive a dopamine high when they use their phones, but many have reported feeling anxious when they have to go without their phones for a period of time. Some heavy cell phone users have even been known to ignore many of their responsibilities in favor of their phones. Teenagers ignore their school work, adults shirk their work duties, and parents have even been known to neglect their children. Their entire lives suffer because they cannot tear themselves away from their phones long enough to be present in the world around them. In short, it’s very similar to how people act when they are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
An Addictive Personality
Of course, this isn’t to say that all teenagers who cannot put their phones down will end up on drugs at some point. There are millions of people all over the world who are addicted to things that have nothing to do with drugs and alcohol. There are also millions of people who use their phones every day without any problems at all. What you need to watch for in your child is an addictive personality. This is a tendency for someone to get addicted to just about anything that makes them feel good, including cell phone use. If your child claims that they cannot live without their cell phone or that they seem anxious or irritable when they’re forced to go without it, it’s possible that they have an addictive personality. This doesn’t mean that your child is destined to become a drug addict, only that they have a tendency to become an addict.
Whether your child’s “drug” of choice is their cell phone, video games, television, or even an actual illicit substance, never hesitate to speak to them about how they are feeling. If you notice that they constantly seem distracted or anxious, you may or may not have a problem on your hands.
As always, there is help available to you and your child if there is a problem. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, so feel free to call us at 833-846-5669 if you need help overcoming an addiction for yourself or a loved one.