Hello, my name is Caroline and I’m addicted to my smartphone. It wasn’t always this way—I used to think taking a break from your phone should be a priority.
Then a few weeks back, some friends and I were out to dinner and we posed a challenge: Everyone’s phone had to go face-down in the middle of the table. The first person to look at theirs would have to pay the tab. Guess who lost? (If you said me, you win!) To be fair, I was expecting an “important email.” Even so, I’m making a concerted effort to step away from the device.
How about you? Just for fun, here’s a quiz to see if you’re addicted to your phone…
1. You’re at a restaurant and your dinner companion gets up to use the restroom. How long does it take you to check your phone?
a) 2 seconds
b) 10 seconds
c) 30 seconds
d) I ‘m an alien and I wouldn’t check my phone
2. When you first wake up in the morning, how long are you conscious before checking your phone?
a) 2 seconds
b) 10 seconds
c) 30 seconds
d) I don’t check until after I’ve showered/brewed coffee/completed more important human activities
3. How do you feel about Instagramming food photos?
a) Wait, what did you just say? I was busy photographing my avocado toast
b) I’m guilty of this sometimes, on special occasions
c) When someone posts a food photo, I’m tempted to unfollow them
d) What’s Instagram again?
4. Do you bring your phone into the bathroom with you?
b) Ehh…I’ve done it before
c) Only if there’s some kind of emergency
d) That’s disgusting, why are you asking me that?
5. You’re on an airplane and need to put your phone in airplane mode. How does this make you feel?
a) Like the flight attendant is my mortal enemy
b) Fairly annoyed. Now I’ll have to spend the whole flight wondering what important social updates I’m missing
c) Fine. At least I can properly focus on a book or movie
d) Secretly joyous that the ringing beast is dead
6. When’s the last time you stopped, mid-conversation, and brandished your phone to display a photo, YouTube video or other example that “added something” to the discussion?
a) Um…I’m actually showing this quiz to my friend, on my phone, right now
b) Earlier today
c) Sometime in the last week
d) Never. Shoving phones in people’s faces is rude
7. Can you watch an entire TV show without referring to your phone?
a) TV shows were made for live tweeting! No way.
b) No; checking my phone while watching TV is my way of multitasking
c) Maybe, if the show is captivating enough
d) Yes! One screen is enough, thank you
8. Where is your phone when you go to sleep?
a) Tucked gently under my pillow
b) On my bedside table
c) Elsewhere in the bedroom, probably charging
d) Purposefully left in some other part of my home
9. Uh-oh…looks like it might rain! Do you immediately reach for your phone to tell you the precise moment when drops will fall?
a) Immediately. But only after I take a photo of dark clouds to post on Twitter and Instagram. #STORM!
b) Of course; weather apps were made for a reason
c) Only if I’ve forgotten my umbrella
d) Wait—your phone can tell you when it’s going to rain?
If you could only have ONE of the following options for the rest of your earthly days, which would you choose?
Option A: Coffee, alcohol, chocolate, cheese and happiness
Option B: Your phone
Time to add up your score…
Give yourself 3 points for A answers; 2 points for Bs; 1 point for Cs; zero points for Ds.
For the bonus question: If you chose option B, add 10 points.
If you got 37-21 points : You are officially addicted to your phone. Check it before you wreck it. And by “it,” we mean your peace of mind.
If you got 20-11 points: You like your phone. You might even love your phone. But your relationship to portable technology seems (mostly) healthy.
If you got 10 or fewer points: Congratulations! You’re not all that into your phone. And, um, who are you? Can you help us???
(Illustration by Julia Rothman. Quiz written by Caroline Donofrio)