How to Manage a Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone addiction is a serious problem for many people; so much so that there is actually a term for it! "Nomophobia" is short for “no mobile phobia,” or the fear of being without a mobile phone—specifically, a smartphone. Nomophobia has increased dramatically over the last several years (2 out of every 3 people have signs of nomophobia) and it has contributed to a decline in mental health for many people.

Smartphone usage increased by nearly 60% during the pandemic. In fact, Verizon's data report indicated more than 519 billion text messages, over 297 billion minutes of call-time, and 10.3 trillion megabytes of data usage in only the first 90 days of the pandemic.

How does smartphone addiction happen?

It's a lot easier than you think! While the internet is a great place to meet new people, especially those who share similar interests—it can easily become a replacement for human connection. Especially for those who struggle with social anxiety or who have busy schedules that don't allow much time for socializing.

The popularity of dating apps has made it easier to find and chat with potential partners without the hassle of leaving your house. Online shopping, food delivery apps, friend-finders, entertainment apps, and virtual games all contribute to the slow decay of in-person interactions. And what seems like a convenient alternative, can have major implications on physical and mental health.

The effects of smartphone addiction

Smartphone addiction is not yet recognized as a condition, but its behavioral characteristics and negative effects are well-known among practitioners and mental health providers.

How to know if you have a smartphone addiction

Here are some of the tell-tale signs of smartphone addiction:

What to do if you have a smartphone addiction

The first step in breaking a smartphone addiction is to recognize that you have a problem and identify the times or actions that trigger your desire to check your smartphone. The next step is to work toward developing healthier ways to cope with the triggers. You can start by turning off notifications, using do-not-disturb mode for certain times, and setting time limits. You can access time limit controls via the settings of your phone, or by using a third-party app. Here are some great ones:

While we recognize the many benefits of smartphone technology, we also understand the risks associated with excessive use.

If you or someone you know is in the California or Nevada areas and struggling with smartphone addiction, Medens Health is here for you! We can help you break the habit and develop healthy coping skills to use in place of it. Reach out to us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, send us a message using our online contact form, or to register as a new patient get started here.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.