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Signs that your iPhone habit is becoming a real addiction

Photo: Jordan McQueen/Unsplash
Photo: Jordan McQueen/Unsplash

Your diet is heavy on the kale and you’re more likely to be found in a HIIT class than happy hour—but there’s a sneaky bad health habit of which most of us are very, very guilty.

Here’s a hint: You’re probably engaging in it right now. You probably do it every morning while you’re still in bed and it’s probably the last thing you do before you go to sleep. You may even do it in the bathroom.

Still scrolling?

According to Time magazine , phone overuse and addiction is no joke.

So how do you know if you just really, really like Instagramming your breakfast and Snapchatting your workouts, or if you’re actually addicted?

There’s no hard line between addiction and overuse, but a telltale sign is that you’re unable to stop using your phone even when it’s harming your life (think texting and driving), Dr. David Greenfield, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, told Time.

These are the warning signs to look out for, James Roberts, a Baylor University professor and author of Too Much of a Good Thing, told the magazine:

  • Feelings of withdrawal when you’re not using your phone
  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or uncomfortable when your phone isn’t within reach
  • The sense that you seem to be on your phone more and more, craving a “dose” of your smartphone

Think it’s NBD, and you can totally ignore those notifications? New research from Florida State University, which found that smartphone alerts disrupt our ability to focus, may get you to reconsider Do Not Disturb mode. Plus, a study from the University of California, Irvine, found that the simple act of checking email makes us stressed out.

The solution, Roberts says, is making sure you’re the one in control—not the phone—and trying to cut down on usage.

And uh, maybe keep the phone away from the nightstand and out of the bathroom.

Think you might need to scale back? Here’s how to take control of your digital life, or you can start with a single-day detox (which includes bath time!).