When your phone lets you know that you have a notification, do you feel obligated or compelled to look at it immediately? If you said yes, there’s a chance that you, like many others in the world, have a cell phone addiction.

Surveys have shown that Americans look at their phones 52 to 80 times a day. The constant urge to check social media notifications and texts leaves people distracted and sometimes oblivious to their surroundings. 

There are even terms to describe the effects that looking at phones can have on the body and relationships with others. “Tech neck” is the position of the neck when someone’s eyes are focused down on a screen, and “phubbing” is when someone ignores their partner to look at their phone.

Cell phone addiction doesn’t just affect relationship partners, but families and friends as well. At just about any restaurant, there will be groups of families or friends eating together but not discussing anything because every single one of them are on their phones, with no interest in talking to the people right next to them. Cell phone addictions have caused us to not want to communicate verbally and creates awkward silences when there is a break in conversation.

College campuses have fully incorporated technology into a student’s everyday life, like encouraging students to be active on social media to connect with potential employers, making class materials completely online and much more. The use of technology on campus will only increase in the future, so colleges should be deemed as one of the biggest culprits of the problem.

Although colleges encourage increased technology use, movements are now starting to arise that encourage “unplugging” from technology for extended periods of time. At the Columbus College of Art and Design, students held an “Unplugged Day” that encouraged people to put their phones down for a day and make real connections. 

Even here at Ohio University, students are encouraged to “unplug.” An example of this is displayed in The District dining hall where some tables have signs saying, “unplug to be aware of your surroundings.”

There are some who admit that they have a cell phone addiction. Even though this issue doesn’t always affect just teens, 50% of teens said they “feel addicted” to their phones. When parents were asked about their teen’s cell phone use, 59% said their teens were addicted. Some signs that an addiction is present include reaching for the phone first thing in the morning, using it when bored and feeling anxious without it.

With technology being incorporated into so much of everyday life, it seems like the cell phone and overall technology addiction will only continue to increase with time. Like someone with a more well-known addiction, we first need to acknowledge that the problem exists. Then we can learn to use our phones in moderation and know when to unplug.

Charlotte Caldwell is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Charlotte? Email her at cc670717@ohio.edu.

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