Are you addicted to your phone?

Emma Harding, Staff Editor

Recently, there have been more and more discussions about the amount of time people spend on their phones. Sometimes it’s for reasons that can’t be helped but for the most part it’s due to the addiction that people have to them. 

Whatever the case may be, this obsession that people have to always be on their phones needs to stop. Not only does it affect a person’s productivity but the way he or she interacts with people in general, greatly harming basic social skills that are necessary for living a fulfilling life.  

Over the years, there have been multiple studies done to showcase the progression of this issue. One in particular was completed by KW Beard in 2005 in which he identifies that IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) is a real and serious matter. 

He then proceeded to propose five diagnostic criteria that may help identify those who may be affected by IAD in which a person…

  • constantly thinks about using the Internet
  • needs to use the Internet with increased amounts of time to gain satisfaction
  • has made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop use of the Internet
  • is restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to control Internet use
  • has stayed online longer than originally intended. 

Now, some may try to say that this doesn’t describe them or that this isn’t that big of a deal but it IAD may affect a larger portion of the population than what is being lead on.

What most don’t realize is that the side effects that come with IAD include a lot of issues that we’re trying to solve today. Among these issues, especially in the younger generations, there are cases of extreme depression, insomnia, anxiety, isolation, and weight loss. 

Students all across the nation regularly try to deal with these issues but continue to use their phones every day. Right here is Forsyth County, students have admitted that their phone usage has reached a problematic point and needs to stop. 

Screenshot of Susie Thompson’s phone usage. This can be found in the settings of apple phones under the tab “screen time.”

Susie Thompson, a senior at Forsyth Central High School, shared a little bit about her phone usage saying, “I don’t think I use the time I spend on my phone wisely. I get nothing done.” Although Susie spends time on her phone in almost every class period, she doesn’t think that she is addicted to her phone.   

Fellow classmate of Susie, Sydney Moroney, also spoke about her phone usage, mentioning how she spends a lot of time on her phone as well. She followed up that statement claiming that she “could go without [her phone] for a while and that it doesn’t have to be with [her] at all times.” 

This realization has become more common in teens as they have begun to figure out that their phones aren’t the only things that are important in their lives. 

Emily Garmon, student at Forsyth Central, has finally accepted this belief. “I have started paying attention to the way I use my phone,” she said, “I noticed I hadn’t been living in the moment as much as I wanted too.” As a result of this, Emily has lessened her addiction to her phone saying, “I’m now dedicating  time to be around the people I love and spending quality time with them.” 

While there is still time to fix this issue, it’s imperative that people take action now. This can be done on a large scale or just right in your community. 

My challenge to you is to keep an eye out for how many times you go on your phone throughout the day. Try not to refer back to it for the time and instead look to a clock on the wall. When you’re bored in class, don’t go on your phone to play games, instead finish any incomplete work or even get ahead in class.

Although these may seem like insignificant actions, they are the building blocks to starting good habits. These habits are what will result in a lessened phone/internet addiction allowing more time to be dedicated to the things that have a greater effect on a person’s life as a whole.