Is 'phone addiction' a real thing?

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 19:01:45-04
Jason Bauman is connected, but he's working on stopping his phone from constantly going off, with the help of an app, "My phone was just constantly going off and it got to be too much.  If I muted my phone entirely I would miss the important messages and I didn't like that."
So he turned to high-tech help right on his smart phone, something more and more people are doing according to App Developer, Nick Bonatsakis, "It's definitely a market that's growing and I think it's going to grow as people start to realize more and more that this is starting to become a major issue."
So how much are you actually on your phone?  The "moment" app tracks it and allows you to set limits.  For more of a digital detox there's "FLIPD" that will send you auto text replies saying you're unable to respond, it even allows you to block app use during certain times.  Nice Bonatsakis developed the "No Phone Challenge" app.  It asks you to take some time away from your phone each day and tracks you to make sure you aren't cheating, "It's a constant problem that I see with many people where it's almost like an addiction, they just can't put the thing down."
But can you really have an addiction to your phone?  Psychotherapist Robert Weiss says first you have to identify what you crave is it games, social media or your job, "You might be addicted to a particular program or device that brings you something that's so pleasurable, so distracting that you're willing or need to turn your life over to it."
Weiss goes on to say that, though it seems counter-intuitive, using your phone to help you unplug from your phone, could actually give you the break you need, "Using an app to calm yourself, distract yourself, soothe yourself is not the same as getting away from tech, but boy it's a great way to take a few minutes out of your day and find some peace.  Who doesn't need that?"
Jason says he just wants to prioritize notifications while he's working or off on a hike, so all he hears are the sounds of silence, "They allow me to focus on whatever I'm actually doing and not spending time on checking my phone for notifications just to see something I shouldn't be concerned about."