June 21, 2017

Watch Out For These Signs of Smartphone Addiction

Just last year, Google reported that UAE has a whopping 73.8% share in global smartphone penetration, which puts the country in the top spot. Indeed, spotting an Emirati without a smartphone in hand is a rare sight nowadays, especially when phone companies keep churning devices that sport advanced technology with features that make everyday life easier for the modern man. The question now is, are we getting a bit overboard with our smartphone use? If you’re reading this article from your phone, don’t look up just yet. Below are some signs of smartphone addiction.

Phantom vibrations

Dr. Robert Rosenberger from the Georgia Institute of Technology claims that 9 out of 10 people suffer from the Phantom Vibration Syndrome, which is prominent in users who have the habit of putting their smartphones in their pocket. By doing so, they tend to “perceive other sensations such as movement of clothing or muscle spasms” as device notifications.

Using the phone while eating or driving

Photo courtesy of David & Philpot, PL

Multitasking is never advisable, especially when one of the tasks involve utmost focus and concentration. According to an experiment conducted by the University of Birmingham, eating when distracted can cause smartphone users to eat 68% more than those who concentrate on their meals.

On the other hand, texting while driving is punishable by law. In Dubai alone, 59,000 people were fined last year for using their mobile devices while on the road.

Smartphone thumb

Photo courtesy of Greenbot

Ever felt pain in your thumbs while playing Crossy Road? You’re probably suffering from tendonitis. The condition stems from the repetitive typing motion we’re all guilty off, and extreme cases can eventually lead to osteoarthritis. Consider giving your thumbs a break once they start feeling sore. Another condition to watch out for is “text claw”. While the term may sound unfamiliar, its symptoms will definitely ring more than a few bells. It’s when your whole hand actually starts to cramp from too much phone use.

Blurry vision and headaches

Photo courtesy of Mountain Eye Care

Do you suffer from migraines after long bouts of smartphone use? There are many culprits to blame for this one, such as the brightness of your screen, your posture while mulling over your phone, and even your eyes’ distance from the screen.

People actually notice

Photo courtesy of Best Royalty

We’re willing to bet that most of you are fond of posting photos of events and occasions on social media. Were you able to enjoy the event in its entirety, though? If you’re getting repeatedly called out for going out of your way to Facebook Live every affair you get invited to or if you’d rather be glued to your mobile screen instead of watching the movie playing in front of you, it’s probably time to put the phone down and actually live in the moment.

Lack of sleep

Got caught snoozing in the office? Your smartphone is probably to blame for that, too. Dr. Gregory Marcus of the University of California conducted a research on the relationship between smartphone use and sleep deprivation. He found out that smartphone use starts to peak during bedtime, which ultimately leads to lack of sleep.


There’s no doubt that smartphones make our lives undoubtedly easier. However, it’s important that we still observe proper use, lest we want technology to turn into a liability. Take breaks in between use, and wear prescription glasses if you have to. After all, being a responsible smartphone user entails taking care of our own health too.