Our guest blogger this week is, Minda Brown Jaramillo, from Cleveland, Ohio. She recently moved back there after spending 10 years in the Southwest. She has been employed as a Licensed Independent Social Worker for the past 26 years and is currently managing programs for Women in Recovery. She enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and movies. She has been married for 15 years and has two dogs.
I think I’m addicted to my iPhone. After 2 Droids (the original and its upgrade), I was really tired of spending money on something I wasn’t satisfied with. I’m amazed by my iPhone’s speed, accuracy, and how the touch screen for texting is so right on. I also love the general easiness of its functionality.
How do I know I may be addicted? I am a licensed clinical social worker and work with addicts on a daily basis. In order to be diagnosed, there is a little book called the DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that provides clues as to whether you meet criteria for this. Although I don’t believe in labeling people, it does give one a good point of departure to work from. Here’s a sample of some of the questions the book asks regarding addiction: “A maladaptive pattern of use leading to significant impairment or distress manifested by three of the following in a 12 year period:
1. Have you gone through withdrawal? Wow…I don’t know yet because I’m never without my phone. I can only surmise that I would go through withdrawal or, at the very least, panic if I did not have it.
2. Have you build up a tolerance? Hmmm….well, I guess since a phone is nothing I can ingest orally or through injection to determine if I’ve built up a tolerance; I can determine that I use it more than I used to, not to mention others have told me the same thing.
3. Have I given up important activities or relationships that I would normally participate in or a failure to fulfill normal obligations? Well, I think I’m safe with this one. I wouldn’t stay home to be with my iPhone. I’d just take it with me.
4. Have I suffered any consequences, legal or otherwise due to using my phone? I don’t think so, although again, I am conscious to not text while driving. However, I will look to see if I’ve received any emails. I do have to be careful while in business meetings to not focus on my iPhone.
5. Is there a great amount of time spent trying to get to my phone? Well again, I’m really never without it.
6. Have I suffered a physical or psychological disturbance that is exacerbated by its use? No, I can honestly say I have not.
7. So the good news for me is (according to the DSM IV book) since I haven’t had my iPhone for a 12 month period, I’m in the clear – at least until the new iPhone comes out in September which is supposed to rival all other phones on the market.
Check with me a year from now and it may be an entirely different story.