What’s your relationship with your phone?
If you feel naked without it, you’re not alone.
The average American checks their phone somewhere between 40 and 80 times a day. Millennials check their phones twice as often.
Phones are the ultimate time-wasters for young adults, who spend up to 5 hours a day glued to their phones.
Anywhere you go—from restaurants to public transport—people are staring at their screens instead of talking to each other.
What is all this swiping doing to us?
Are there any health risks associated with loving your phone?
First off, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Rumors have been flying for ages that cellphones cause cancer, but scientists haven’t been able to find a conclusive link.
It’s not that they haven’t tried. Plenty of studies have attempted to find any link between the kind of radiation given off by cellphones and cancerous tumors in the brain.
But thus far, there’s no evidence that a cellphone’s radiofrequency waves can damage DNA or promote tumor growth.
Mental health is another story.
Research suggests a link between heavy cellphone use and depression.
A study on college students found that cellphone use and anxiety/depression were related IF the student was using their cellphone as a security blanket, or a way to avoid dealing with life. 
If you pick up your phone in order to deal with uncomfortable emotions, you’re not pushing yourself to learn healthy ways to cope with stress. That leaves you vulnerable. Social media isn’t going to get you through a major life crisis.
But if you’re using your phone for entertainment or to relieve boredom, the link disappears.
So the real question is:
Do you feel lost without your phone?
Can you cope without it for a day?
If not, then a digital detox might be in order.
Smartphone addiction is now a “thing.”
It’s called nomophobia, and it affects 1 in 3 people.
One indicator of possible addiction is phone separation anxiety. Can you be parted from your phone? How would you feel if you left it, say, in the kitchen to charge overnight, instead of by your bed?
Do you ever feel your phone vibrate … only to look at your phone and realize you must have imagined it? Then you’ve experienced phantom cellphone vibration syndrome, another symptom of excessive cellphone use.
Is your sleep quality poor? Do you find it difficult to concentrate? Has your performance dropped at work?
Then the cause might be right there in your hand.
But don’t blame yourself. Blame the designers who made those apps so addictive.
Just as obesity can’t be explained away as a lack of willpower, so smartphone addiction has less to do with a lack of discipline and everything to do with the rewards built into the system.
It’s an open secret that most mobile apps are designed to keep you coming back for more. Each time you get another like on your selfie or hear the “ping” of an alert, you get a hit of dopamine, a highly addictive brain chemical.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
If the thought of a full-scale digital detox terrifies you, one step you can take today is to keep your phone out of the bedroom.
Even if your phone is just plugged into the charger next to the bed, it’s all too tempting to pick it up in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep.
The blue light from the screen impair sleep quality. So, if you’ve found yourself falling asleep with phone in hand, put the offending item in another room.
You’re in charge of your phone. Your phone isn’t in charge of you.