Are you addicted to your smart device?

I can’t concentrate on work because I’m on my smartphone.
I’d rather be on my smartphone than do other things that I’m supposed to.
I feel anxious when I don’t have my smartphone with me.
I can’t imagine not having a smartphone (even for a day).
I have repetitive strain injury because of overuse of my smartphone.
I often use my smartphone for much longer periods than I had planned to.

…are the kind of things that someone with a smartphone addiction might admit to. So say the experts. And also the kind of questions which Korean teenagers were asked in a 2013 PLOS One study about smartphone addiction.

It’s not clear whether we’re a nation addicted to smartphones. Candy crush, maybe… TV drama and youtube videos which we can watch anywhere anytime now thanks to our mega data plans and wifi hotspots, yes… Preoccupied with trying to create social envy on facebook, ok maybe.

Clearly some people think so. That’s why a bunch of Republic Poly students have come up with their own app to increase face time (thus avoiding the situation where everyone at the dinner table is busy on their own and not in a conversation).

But smartphone addictions aren’t a new type of addiction. In fact, “technology addictions actually share the same underlying mechanisms as other addictions” (Asia’s smartphone addictionBBC, 7 Sept 2015).

But if you are trying to kick the habit, you can use technology to solve your problem! Consider installing two desktop applications — Self-control and Freedom. They block your ability to surf the net for the number of hours which you’ve set aside for work. Manage your smartphone addiction with Focus Lock and Pause — two apps which lock specific apps for a customized amount of time. You can also install an app— Anti-Social — to prevent you from checking Facebook while you work. Even better, you can install Offtime which is an Android app which allows calls get through and essential apps to function while you get on with the important stuff.

And no, Facebook and Instagram aren’t essential apps.

And don’t forget to take that phone off the dinner table!