We use our smartphones all the time—while going to the bathroom, waiting in line, before heading to bed—but when does overuse cross the line into a more dangerous addiction? The simple answer: It becomes a problem when you can’t stop checking your phone, even when doing so puts your life at risk, David Greenfield, Ph.D., the founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, tells Time. But what does that really mean?
Do you text and drive, knowing that you’re putting yourself (and others) in danger? Do you feel anxious or irritable when your phone is out of reach? These are common markers of addiction. However Greenfield does say that the number of people actually addicted to their smartphones is small.
But overuse is still a big concern. Smartphones throw off our focus, mess with our sleep, and create unnecessary stress. Yet we keep checking because who knows what might be new this time.
If you think you may be overusing your smartphone, try tracking and limiting your usage. The good news? Unplugging is a little easier with the help of podcasts and apps (ironic, we know). We even put together a list to get you started.