Smartphone addictions are becoming more prevalent with younger generations. The addictive patterns are very similar to other addictive behaviours, such as alcohol, drugs, or even pornography. Unfortunately, many couples are discovering when one or both people are addicted to their smartphones, it is ruining their marriages.
Take a moment and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you only hear half of what is being said during a conversation because you are distracted by images or text messages on your phone?
- Do you have a hard time putting down your smartphone and engaging your loved one in conversation?
- Is there a strong desire to have your smartphone with you at the dinner table?
- Do you find you cannot sleep without your phone on the nightstand?
- Do you find yourself responding to text messages or social media posts in the middle of the night when you should be sleeping?
- Does the majority of your conversations with family and friends take place through text messaging, not actual telephone calls or face-to-face conversations?
- Do you find yourself texting your spouse, even though they are in the same room?
- Do you find your attention is drawn away from other activities, like watching TV or playing games, and directed towards your phone?
- Do you have your phone with you while engaging in sexual activities with your loved one?
- Do you respond to text messages while having sex?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you could very well have an addiction to your smartphone.
Overcoming addictions is not something that is easy to do on your own. Many people try to address their addictions without help. While they might do well for the first several weeks or months, eventually their addictive tendencies start to return.
Addressing a smartphone addiction can be challenging. After all, most people rely on their smartphone as their primary telephone and “computer” to get on the Internet. The focus of overcoming the addiction is to become more aware of your bad habits.
Through awareness you can start to recognize the problem and develop effective coping skills. For instance, establishing a place to set your phone when you come home and leave it there is a good first step. The only time you pick up the phone is if it rings and you are answering a telephone call.
There are also other skills and techniques you can practice so you will not feel a sense of panic if you do not have your phone in your hand or on your person at all times. In order to confront a smartphone addiction and take the first steps to dealing with the problem requires help from an experienced counsellor.
If you or your loved one has the signs of a smartphone addiction or other addictive tendencies and you want help so these do not ruin your marriage, please feel free to contact Ellen Starr at 416-488-3102 for individual, couples, and marriage counselling services in Toronto and the GTA today!