It’s hard to think that a device that plays such an important role in modern everyday life could be considered an addiction. The truth is that around 60 to 70 per cent of smartphone owners describe themselves as “too reliant” on them, and the average adult spends approximately from 2 to 4 hours on their smartphone every day.

From drivers using phones behind the wheel and an increase in injuries on pedestrians related to their mobiles to it impacting their social life and even mental health, smartphone addiction is a very real issue. It can also worsen our concentration, as frequent distraction from our smartphones affects the capability of the brain to maintain a longer focus in any activity.

Don’t get hooked! Social Media apps are designed to produce short-term, dopamine-driven loops on their users, so they can crave them at any time and any place. Social media stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers as much as what food and sex do. This can be especially valuable for social media platforms, as they can sell advertisers the attention of millions of people.

While there is nothing inherently addictive about mobile phones, potentially being in contact with 2 billion people around the world, and thousands of games and movies being at the reach of a person’s pocket can create a strong attachment between the owner and the smartphone. Increased levels of smartphone use can ultimately relate to anxiety and depression, poor sleep quality and risk or car accidents.

Shock! Horror! It’s time to stop and think just how much time we actually spend on our smartphones. Stop for a second there and enjoy the greenery!