Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone Addiction

Today, it is typical to see someone staring at their smartphone, endlessly scrolling. Recent research suggests:

  • Up to 25% of children and young adults experience problematic smartphone use or smartphone addiction.
  • Average smartphone usage sits at 3-6+ hours a day and, according to Pew Research, 46% of US adults say they could not live without their smartphone.
  • 8-12% of smartphone users met the criteria for addicted use, according to a 2014 study conducted by Dr. David Greenfield, in partnership with AT&T.

Smartphones have become a necessity but operate similar to a small slot machine, doling out rewards in the form of desired content, social media updates, messages, news, and information. Each time someone receives something they like, a small dopamine hits their brain, but what makes smartphones even more addictive is the notification feature.

Notifications tell the brain that a reward might be waiting for them, and the “maybe factor” creates an addictive pattern in the brain where the expectation of seeing something the person might like resembles what happens when anticipating winning on a slot machine. It is that anticipation that keeps their eyes glued to screens for hours each day.


Learn more about:

gaming controller symbol in blue

Video Game Addiction

symbol of laptop in blue

Technology Addiction

Symbol of phone in blue

Smart Phone Addiction

symbol of social media like instagram, facebook and twitter in blue

Social Media Addiction

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About Process Addiction Disorders

Process Addiction Disorders are extreme or compulsive forms of a behavior that the individual is unable or is unwilling to stop despite the legal, financial, family, or other consequences.

Activities that fall into process addiction are ones that people engage in every day, such as shopping, gambling, exercise, eating, or sex. These non-substance related activities are ones that, unlike the general public, they struggle with the mental or physical health issues that arise as a consequence of their inability to stop without treatment.

Lifeskills South Florida’s clinical team is highly trained in process addiction treatment and creates a customized plan for each individual depending on their needs and willingness to engage in treatment.

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