Smart Phone - In Love or Just Dating?

I have to admit I'm a reluctant fan of smart phones. My easy to use Palm Pilot died earlier this year and I bought an Iphone. Arrgh.... Getting used to new technology is not for the weak minded. The first week of transition was "challenging" to say the least. I had to laugh when frustrated to the max,  my 9 year old granddaughter Grace grabbed it, said "Here Nan, this is what you do - click, click, click. All done."

Granted many "love" their smart phones - they help us stay connected to others, make life easier - emails, FB, etc. But how do you know if you're TOO attached to your phone? Can you actually become ADDICTED to your phone?

Here are some things to think about:

* How much time are you spending (wasting?) on emailing, texting, games, (have to admit I enjoy WordsFree occasionally), FB a day? How OFTEN do you check for message? No, really - have you actually paid attention or tracked the time spent?  How much does this affect your other productivity?

* Has anyone ever said that the amount of time you're spending on your phone is a problem for them? (If so, heads up, it's a problem).

* Do you have boundaries or times that you don't use your phone? For example, at the dinner table? In bed? In a public restroom? (Please....) When you're out with a group of friends? At a meeting?  If not, have you ever asked others if your use is a problem for them? What's one small limit you would be willing to set around phone use?

* If you think you are NOT too dependent on your phone, try going without it for a day (on a non-working day)  and notice how you feel. Are you antsy, anxious? Do you feel cut off? Bored? Is it uncomfortable to just BE by and with yourself without distractions or to interact with the people you around?

Just because you experience some of the above symptoms doesn't mean you're addicted. Addictive behaviors exist on a continuum. Be aware that the more reliant you are on your phone for escape, relief or comfort for upsetting emotions or stress the more you are using it in an addictive manner.  What else can you do to deal with anxiety or upset? Exercise, meditate, journal, talk face to face with a friend? Change starts with one small step and that's awareness.