Your cell phone addiction is changing you ... and not for the better.
The results from cell phone research are in ... and the news is scary. Science has proven that cell phones are addicting. What's worse is that smart phone addiction leads to neurotic and narcissistic behaviors that can ruin relationships, careers, and destroy lives.
The problem is so severe that cell phones should come with a warning. So, what are neurotic and narcissistic behaviors and why are they so bad?
Neurotic behaviors are chronic and ritual things people do to reduce their anxiety. Cell phone addicts may become anxious if their cell phones are lost or run out of battery life. When they have their cell phones, technology addicts are likely to habitually check for texts, calls, and emails.
These neurotic behaviors are annoying enough to interfere with normal work and personal interactions, and may even interfere with romantic relationships.
While neurotic behaviors are alarming, narcissism is an even worse problem.
Narcissistic people are totally focused on themselves. They dominate conversations and have a hard time thinking about others.
Narcissistic folks always find a way to make every conversation about themselves and leave others feeling ignored and small. Research shows that even people with low self-centered tendencies become more narcissistic with cell phone addiction.
Why are cell phones so addicting?
Harvard Medical School explains that some people are more prone to addiction than others. Addiction causes rushes of pleasure in the brain's reward pathways; over time, the rush of the addiction becomes irresistible.
Research suggests that the high level of control and personalization in smart phones increases addictive qualities. Cell phone addicts exert complete control over their technology experience and become excited by one more call, one more text, or one more Instagram.
Treatment for cell phone addiction is complex.
Drugs are ineffective in turning off the brain's pleasure response to cell phones. Instead, the technology addict must make the conscious decision to give up the addiction.
Telephones are so critical to modern life that the addict may not have the strength to give up phones entirely. One option is to transfer calls to a landline that does not have all the fancy buttons and apps. If giving up the cell phone is not an option, downgrading to a simpler phone without so many smart features may help reduce the rush from cell phone use.
Realizing the dangers of continued technology use is extremely important for a recovering cell phone addict.
Personal relationships and employment are at risk of serious interruption from the neurotic and narcissistic cell phone obsession. Recovering cell phone addicts must reconnect with friends, family, and romantic interests.
Discussing the addiction openly and without shame is the best strategy. For work, recovering technology addicts must review their employer's rules about cell phone use. Most employers prohibit cell phones during office hours. Whenever possible, leave the cell phone in a locker or the car to resist the temptation to text or play Candy Crush instead of focusing on work.
When necessary, technology addicts can seek professional help from an addiction counselor, psychotherapist, or psychologist. If the neurotic and narcissistic behaviors are out of control, an intensive treatment plan may require additional help from a sobriety partner or addiction support group.
This research advises parents to limit cell phone use for teens and young adults. Asking family members to turn cell phones off for meals and family time is an excellent way to help children focus on the value of personal relationships, which helps protect them from future cell phone addiction.
Darleen Claire is a Personal Development Coach with a background in clinical mental health counseling, education, and brain-based intervention strategies. Visit her website to explore more research-based strategies to overcome addiction, improve relationships, and create a joyful effective life!