How to Measure Your Smartphone Addiction Level (A Simple Test)

You love your smartphone and you can’t live without it. But at the same time you know that your dependence on it is going out of control.

For example, do you check your smartphone even when there is nothing new to see? Do you want to spend less time on your smartphone but feel helpless to do so?

If your answer is yes to both of these questions, you have a problem that needs to be addressed. That is why in today’s article, I’m sharing a simple test that will help you measure your smartphone addiction level. The test is quoted from a book titled How to Break Up With Your Phone by Katherine Price. 

How to Measure Your Smartphone Addiction Level (A Simple Test)

So how do you measure your smartphone addiction level? One way is to take this Smartphone Compulsion Test, developed by Dr. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and psychiatry professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. All you need to do is mark the questions that apply to you.

1. Do you find yourself spending more time on your cell or smartphone than you realize?

2. Do you find yourself mindlessly passing time on a regular basis by staring at your mobile or smartphone?

3. Do you seem to lose track of time when on your mobile or smartphone?

4. Do you find yourself spending more time texting, tweeting, or emailing as opposed to talking to people in person?

5. Has the amount of time you spend on your mobile or smartphone been increasing?

6. Do you wish you could be a little less involved with your phone?

7. Do you sleep with your mobile or smartphone (turned on) under your pillow or next to your bed regularly?

8. Do you find yourself viewing and answering texts, tweets, and emails at all hours of the day and night — even if it means interrupting other things you are doing?

9. Do you text, email, tweet, Snapchat, or surf while driving or doing other similar activities that require your focused attention and concentration?

10. Do you feel your use of your mobile or smartphone decreases your productivity at times?

11. Do you feel reluctant to be without your cell or smartphone, even for a short time?

12. Do you feel ill at ease or uncomfortable when you accidentally leave your smartphone in the car or at home, have no service, or have a broken phone?

13. When you eat meals, is your cell or smartphone always part of the table place setting?

14. When your cell or smartphone rings, beeps, or buzzes, do you feel an intense urge to check for texts, tweets, emails, updates, and so on?

15. Do you find yourself mindlessly checking your cell or smartphone many times a day, even when you know it is unlikely there is anything new or important to see?

How to interpret your results: now count the number of questions that apply to you. Here’s how Dr. David Greenfield interprets people’s scores:

1-2: Your behavior is normal but that doesn’t mean you should live on your smartphone.

3-4: Your behavior is leaning toward problematic or compulsive use.

5 or above: It is likely that you may have a problematic or compulsive smartphone use pattern.

8 or higher: If your score is higher than 8, you might consider seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist who specializes in behavioral addictions for a consultation.

How Much Screen Time Do You Spend on Your Smartphone?

Now that you’ve taken the test, you might be wondering, “How much time do I actually spend on my smartphone?” The easiest way to find out is to check your smartphone’s screen time report.

How to Check Your Screen Time on iPhone

The iPhone Screen Time report includes information on how much time you spend using certain kinds of apps, how often you pick up your iPhone, what apps send you the most notifications, and so on. Here’s how to view it:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap on Screen Time
  3. Tap See All Activity, then tap Week to see a summary of your weekly use, or tap Day to see a summary of your daily use.

If you need more detailed instructions, watch this video tutorial on how to check your screen time on iPhone.

How to Check Your Screen Time on Android Phone

Digital Wellbeing on Android allows you to see your phone usage patterns: how often you unlock it and how long you use each app. You can also use it to set up app timers and schedule display changes. Here’s how to access it:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings
  2. Tap Digital Wellbeing & Parental Controls
  3. Under Your Digital Wellbeing Tools, tap Show Your Data

More information is available in this video instruction on how to check your screen time on Android phone.

How Much Screen Time Is Considered Healthy for Adults?

According to Reid Health, you should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day:

Experts say adults should limit screen time outside of work to less than two hours per day. Any time beyond that which you would typically spend on screens should instead be spent participating in physical activity. This might not be feasible immediately, but there’s still a lot people can do to try to reduce this down.

What Apps Can Help Reduce Screen Time on Your Smartphone?

1. Offtime blocks disruptive notifications, calls or SMS for set periods of time of your choice. It also tracks your digital habits and provides reports about your smartphone usage with the help of ‘Insights.’ Available on iOS and Android.
2. BreakFree is an app designed to help you take control of your relationship with social media. The app makes limiting social media usage fun through challenges that earn you BreakCoins, redeemable for products, coupons, and gift vouchers. Available on iOS and Android.
3. Freedom blocks distracting apps and websites to help you focus while you work or take a much needed break from your devices. Write, code, or create better with the Freedom app starting today. Available on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Chromebook, Linux.

Screen Time: A Short Film

With the rise of AI, the existential smartphone in this film will soon become a reality:

If you want to spend less time with your phone and more time doing the things you love, How to Break Up with Your Phone is for you. Couple with Sherry Turkle on the human spirit in a computer culture.

A woman checking her smartphone with text overlay: How to Measure Your Smartphone Addiction Level.

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