Excuse me, while I check my phone
Updated: 2014-07-11 07:01
By Guo Yali (China Daily)
Passengers on a Beijing subway are keen smartphone users. [Photo by Zhang Cheng / Xinhua]
My mother knocked at the bathroom door one morning, yelling, "Come out and watch the TV, doctors in Singapore say that smartphone addiction is a psychiatric disorder!"
She has been complaining about me using my cellphone all the time: Now, she's got the experts to back her up.
I stayed in the bathroom, checking the latest news on my phone, and saw that the psychiatrists in Singapore are pushing medical authorities to formally recognize addiction to the Internet and digital devices as a disorder. According to a report in the Agence France-Presse, a scholar at Nanyang Technological University defined digital addiction by a number of symptoms: the inability to control craving, anxiety when separated from a smartphone, a loss in productivity in studies or at work and the need to constantly check one's phone.
I am one of those smartphone users who take their phones into the bathroom, which is how I lost my last iPhone - don't ask - and I place it next to my pillow when I go to bed, as the first and last thing I do every day is to check the news apps and micro blogs. I also use it in restaurants so I can post photographs of dishes to friends on social media. I place it on the desk at work so that I can check it now and then to get updated with news and news of friends.
My smartphone is so indispensable to my life today that I would feel really inconvenienced and uncomfortable if I were unable to connect to the Internet.
Which means that I am addicted to some extent, I admit. But a psychiatric disorder? Surely not.