3 Ways Your Smartphone Addiction is Destroying Your Friendships

In her article, “A six-step program for breaking your smartphone addiction,” The Washington Post reporter, Elizabeth Tenety explains how it feels when someone intentionally or unintentionally ignores you because they are preoccupied with an iPhone.

“So you must know what always happens next: Distracted by their latest email, or text message, or tweet, or Facebook update, or Instagram pic, or Snapchat, or Pin (to name a few), your friend suddenly loses the ability to hear what you are saying, and stops engaging with you, the real person in front of them,” says Tenety. “You’re stuck there, waiting to feel as important as a Facebook feed in your friend’s life.”

If you can identify to the first type of person, the one that is always distracted by their phone, then you have a problem: you are addicted to your mobile phone. The following are three ways that it’s destroying your friendships and ruining your life.

See also: Nomophobia: Is Your Mobile Phone Making You Anxious?

1. The Cold Shoulder

There are other times when you use your phone to avoid interacting with people. According to The Tech Republic reporter, Scott Matteson, it’s actually called phubbing or "the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention."

I saw it first-hand one evening in Ireland this past summer: a teenage couple sat at a table in a pub barely acknowledging one another in favor of the devices in their hands,” says Matterson.

But you never know; you might miss some important information by “phubbing” people. Besides, it’s just plain rude and mean-spirited.

2. Plugged In

All day, every day, you are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posting photos, updates and memes. So how are you getting anything done at work? According to CBSNews, digital devices, such as mobile phones and iPads, may help worker productivity. However, the devices can also hinder it with an endless “barrage of digital interruptions.” In fact, CareerBuilder released a survey last week, “the Most Common and Strangest Productivity Killers at Work,” and cell phones topped the list.

Thanks to smartphones, chatty co-workers and never-ending Twitter feeds that provide hours of distraction, the obstacles that get in the way of actual work are seemingly endless,” says CareerBuilder.

In the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 11 to March 6, 2015, over 2,100 U.S. HR managers confirmed that “the biggest productivity killers in the workplace” were cell phones/texting (52%); the Internet (44%); gossip (37%); social media (36%); and e-mail (31%). The problem is that your boss is probably watching. And you could lose your job.

3. Ignoring the Roses

Life is all about experiences; and cherishing the memories of those wonderful events that we are fortunate enough to have. But, unfortunately, you are living your life via your mobile phone. And others are starting to complain about your phone addiction too; especially your parents who say that all you ever do is text them.

The good news is that Americans say that on the whole, people are ’less loud and annoying than they used to be’ on their phones, according to research from Pew,” says Tenety. “Part of that shift however, has taken place as the dominant form of cell phone communication has gone from talk (phone calls) to type.”

In order to repair your relationships and increase your productivity at work, you must first admit that you are an addict.

Experts say, as cited by The Washington Post, that you can beat your phone addiction by setting some boundaries.

“We can also take breaks or fasts from our devices, partially as a mental break, but also to prove to ourselves that we don’t have to be so plugged in 24-7,” says The Washington Post. “Additionally, we can reprogram our smartphones to notify us less, thus allowing us to be present to the people in front of us at work and home.”

Also, try putting the phone in your pocket or purse. More importantly, listen and give people eye contact while doing it. Lastly, pick up the phone and call your parents. 

If you have any other suggestions on how to break smartphone addiction, let us know in the comment section below.

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