What defines the line between overuse and addiction? Is there a line, or does it all depend on the person in question? If we were to draw a line, we could say that everyone is addicted to something. It can really be anything. The only thing that a person must ask themselves is if they are entirely dependent on the thing they think they may be addicted to. We’re all dependent on oxygen, food, water and sleep. But we don’t label those things addictions because they don’t generally negatively affect a person’s life. You don’t miss work because you need to take a couple of deep breaths. You don’t blow your life savings on getting enough water in a day.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is a whole host of things that significantly harm one’s life when one becomes addicted. At the top of this list are things like alcohol, nicotine, and prescription and illegal drugs. These all represent substance abuse and chemical addiction. They not only change one’s physiology, but they also actually rewire a person’s brain so that they cannot live without the substance. Trying to break these addictions is a long and slow process that involves a massive amount of physical and emotional pain. But addiction is not restricted to substances. There are many addictions out there most people are not aware of. There are many things that people can become dependent upon, even to the point where it can be labeled an addiction.
How many hours do you spend on your phone each day? It is almost certainly not one or two hours. If you own a smartphone, it’s safe to say you probably spend an inordinate amount of time on it. Does this constitute an addiction? Try and think about this for a second. If you forget your phone at home, do you feel anxious? Why do you feel anxious? Are you worried that people won’t be able to get hold of you? If so, why is this such a big deal?
Are you afraid you’ll miss something on one of your social media accounts? If so, we ask the same question: Why is that such a big deal? Or are you simply anxious because you don’t have the phone in reach? If any of these apply to you, you could very well be addicted to your smartphone. While a smartphone addiction may not seem all that serious, it should still be acknowledged. Just because you aren’t ruining your life because of this addiction, it doesn’t mean it should be ignored entirely.