We all love tech here – we did make a website devoted to it after all. But there’s a fine line between loving your tech and loving your tech too much.
After much consideration, I’ve realized that I fall on the wrong side of the line between tech sanity and tech obsession. I definitely love tech too much. Do you? Here are four warning signs to look out for.
You check your phone in bed
Like most people, when I first wake up in the morning I stretch a bit, get out of bed, brush my teeth, and turn on my coffee maker. Of course, before I do any of that, I use my smartphone. Priorities. I’m not the only one who does it either: A recent ten-city survey of mobile phone users found that 84% of Americans check a smartphone app first thing in the morning when we wake up.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay connected. But researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute warn that bright displays from tablets and phones is linked with increased risk for sleep disorders and melatonin suppression. Other scientists warn that using your phone, even just to check emails, can boost stress levels – something you don’t want to do in an environment dedicated to rest and relaxation.
As tempting as it may be to check your phone in bed, try to hold off. You’ll sleep better.
From the other side of the couch, with love
From my younger cousins to my aging parents, everyone in my family has embraced text messaging. Sure, we could call each other on the phone, but texting seems simpler and less intrusive. Who has time for conversations these days?
That’s all well and good, but here’s where my tech obsession spills into social dysfunction: I’ve started to text people, even when I’m in the same room as them. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s becoming a natural habit. And that’s bad news – a recent Brigham Young University study shows that increased texting may ruin relationships.
So if you find yourself texting someone who’s sitting a few feet next to you on the couch, turn your phone off and start a real conversation. Your relationship will be better for it.
You genuinely fear being without it
I keep telling myself that I’m not addicted to my smartphone. I can quit using it at any time. But the moment I leave home for a quick errand and realize I left my phone at home, I go through a panicked withdrawal.
Believe it or not, there’s a word for this: Nomophobia, the fear of being without your mobile phone. According to a U.K. study, over half of us feel anxiety when we forget our smartphones or start running out of battery life. And in many cases, the level of stress caused by nomophobia rivals that of getting the drill at the dentist.
You keep watch over a tech graveyard
Open your right desk drawer. Now open the left. Are either filled to the brim with old, outdated tech devices like clamshell phones, beepers and digital cameras that record directly to floppy disk? If so, you’re probably a collector. (It’s okay – there’s a tech graveyard in my house too.)
People joke about tech devices practically being obsolete by the moment you cut the shrink wrap off the box. But that’s not quite true – even older devices like the iPhone 4 still have a surprising amount value to the right people. You can make a ton of extra cash by trading-in your gently used tech.
Can’t bear to part with that old smartphone you’re not using, even though you know could get some real cash for it? Then you definitely love tech too much, you collector, you. Either that, or you’re a hoarder.
This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.
Image credit: cc Johan Larsson