Many of us grab our phones before anything else in the morning and it’s probably the last thing we touch before sleep. Though when I busy with my phone, sometimes I lose track of the people who are physically with me, but I never thought it’s an addiction, because phone made things easier in my life, I don’t carry pen, diary, any kind of shopping list, everything is in my phone. But then came the day when I forgot to charge the battery and had to carry the dead phone to the work. On the way, I had the feeling that something was vibrating and I thought it was my phone and obviously found nothing, similarly when I had something in mind to tweet, I could do nothing but staring at my dead phone. To cut to the chase, those 60 odd minutes made me realize, that how difficult life is without a phone.
Can the aforementioned feelings be described as Phantom limb syndrome?
Phantom limb syndrome is suffered by many amputees, who feel strange and often painful sensations coming from their missing limbs. According to medics, a phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb is still attached to the body and is moving appropriately with other body parts (Wikipedia FTW).
But the phone is not a part of our body, or is it?
I use my gadgets so much, and so many people do these days, that we may consider them to be part of ourselves. Our reliance on Smart phone reached to the point where we feel their absence as painful as limbs; just imagine the life few years down the road?
In today’s world, Smart phones aren't just a mean of communication, these toys are absolutely critical for managing our personal life and work. Since most of us live a life that is very much lost in social media, Smart phones took the centre stage, because it is the quickest way that connects us to the Internet. Apps for news and weather have become very much of a routine in the morning, even in this part of the world, many of us use Google Maps & others Smart phone apps for navigation, albeit still the largest percentage of people use their phones for twitter, Facebook and others forms of social networking.
Coming back to the question; is it an addiction?
Many believe it isn't while some contend that it's fast on its way to being classified as a disease similar to drug addiction or gambling.
Dr. David Greenfield, a psychologist who is an expert on Internet-related behaviours at The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, says he predicted a decade ago that people would become ultra-dependent on mobile devices, even more than they are on PCs and laptops. Since phones don't weigh much and fit easily into a pocket or a purse, "the threshold is even easier to cross, and there's no end to it," Greenfield says. "You're pretty much hooked in wherever you are, if you want to be."
Greenfield says “constant and continual use of untethered devices produces chemical responses in the body similar to gambling. When compulsive gamblers win a hand, they are motivated to keep playing till they win again--no matter how much they lose in between”.
On account of my personal feelings, I can say it’s a kind of addiction, but worthy of having it, because smart phone has made my life better, easier and efficient. Maybe it’s not impossible to live life without them, but cell phone slaves know no other way to live.