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Phone separation anxiety is a real thing—here’s how to know if you have it


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Photo: Pexels/Rawpixel

Considering the average person touches her phone 2,617 times a day, it’s safe to say the obsession is real. Think about it: When was the last time you were even more than an arm’s reach away from your phone? It’s no wonder phone separation anxiety is now an actual psychological disorder. But the big question is, where is the line between being annoyed when you have to part with your phone and having a legit problem?

One recent study gives some clues. If you start experiencing an increase in heart rate or blood pressure, chances are you have PSA (phone separation anxiety). Another sign includes feeling alone or depressed. People who don’t have PSA can actually experience the opposite feeling: They start to feel a bit off when they are actually on their phone too much. (The Instagram rabbit hole is fun—until the FOMO starts creeping in.)

According to an expert interviewed by The Guardian, one way to keep your phone from actually depressing you is to actually use it to…call people. And if you do have PSA, the good news is that, apparently, you can learn to live without your phone pretty quickly. First, you may feel completely alone and like you have no idea what’s going on in the world—both in your social circle and in the news. But then, you adapt.

Of course the goal is to strike a healthy balance, which going on a digital detox can help you do. “Too much of a good thing” definitely applies when it comes to phones—and, like virtually everything else, moderation is key.

Speaking of too much phone time, here’s everything you need to know about digital minimalism. And here’s what to do on a day without your device from morning to night.