Many smart phone owners have their phone with them all day, including by the bed at night and even in the bathroom. The phone is such a part of them that separation has been compared to losing a limb. The ability to stay in touch all day on social networks and by instant messaging is no longer considered a luxury and many wonder how they coped before. Those who have tried a 'no phone week' nearly always say how bored they were initially.
Interestingly, we are discussing smart phone addiction but the ability to make and receive calls is not the phones primary use any more. I know I'm always surprised when my phone rings as it does so many other things. I've seen friends send a text/email/tweet to get a fast response rather than making a one minute call so even though smart phone use makes us seem like extroverts we actually need to be constantly reassured by others that they are thinking of us.
Smart phone addiction is across all age groups and not just the young who usually get blamed for being gullible. It's not uncommon to see phones on the table in a restaurant as if they were part of the cutlery. And at a lull in the conversation it's not unusual to see diners checking their messages as if the present company was irrelevant to the moment.
How do you know if you're addicted? Advice starts with asking if you ever turn your phone off. Track your cell phone use – time of day, what you do, how long, etc – and then start weaning yourself off. Just like giving up cigarettes, remove one of the regular times you use the phone at a time so not at the dinner table, or not on the train, etc. Committing to the moment is a phrase often used and it's true while playing on our phones we miss what is happening around us. Other signs of smart phone addiction include a full battery charge barely lasting the day. (I thought this was normal for all iPhone 3GS users but maybe not.) Also, using alarms to tell you when to do everything in your life is another sign which is a shame as I like my 'tings' to remind me where to be and when even if I know they happen at the same time every day.
So, maybe I am addicted but if President Obama couldn't cope without his Blackberry, despite being urged to do so by his security personnel, then I'm not about to put myself though the pain of technology withdrawal.