Smartphone Behavioural Addiction Quick Survey     

William Howatt Ph.D., Ed.D.
© 2018

"More than 80 per cent of Millennials sleep with their cell phones (as compared to only a third of Boomers); More than half check them in the middle of the night. A third send over 35 text messages after having gone to bed. For digital natives, life is lived mediated." ― Julie Albright

Though smartphones have many benefits, we’re now learning that they also have negative consequences. For some users, smartphones have caused a form of dependency/compulsion that hasn’t yet been classified as a clinical addictive disorder, but there’s enough evidence to suggest that some are becoming addicted to the devices. People who may be at higher risk for meeting the criteria for smartphone behavioural addiction may also present with a type of anxiety called nomophobia (i.e., the fear of losing one’s smartphone). A person at risk for smartphone behavioural addiction typically feels an urge to immediately check their phone when a notification sound goes off, rarely ever voluntarily turns it off, and sleeps with it on. They have more than three hours a day of screen time just for personal use, and their phone use is starting to have a negative impact on their social and work life. The unintended consequences of smartphone technology include its impact on controlling a person’s behaviour. The purpose of this quick survey is to bring to your level of awareness the degree of dependency and compulsion you have with respect to your smartphone. The end goal is to help curb any potential for smartphone behavioural addiction to have a negative impact on your life, such as an urge to check your phone while driving, leading to driver distraction that could result in a terrible accident or even death.