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These Statistics On Our Cellphone Addiction Are Terrifying And More Alarming Than Ever

These Statistics On Our Cellphone Addiction Are Terrifying And More Alarming Than Ever

Ah, the cell phone, our trusty friend. It helps us pretend we’re busy when we don’t want to talk to the person next to us. It helps us keep connected to an endless stream of cat videos. We may also have a tendency to stare at it, with a glazed expression, endlessly waiting for a message that will never arrive. I jest, but the truth is that we have an increasingly unhealthy fixation to our smartphones, recent surveys suggest.

The following statistics show an alarming increase in cell phone addiction, with participants admitting to becoming increasingly disconnected with their actual surroundings in the name of ‘data connectivity’.

The average person checks a cell phone is 110 times a day

Human beings are naturally fidgety creatures. We touch our faces a crazy amount of times per day. We doodle to distraction, and we love gadgets. The ultimate modern person’s form of fidgeting though, is looking at their smartphones. Why did I just unlock my phone? Was I going to look at Twitter? Oh, I can’t remember, let’s look anyway!

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Recent research, collected by Android app Locket, monitored how many times its 150,000 users checked their phone in a day. They found that users did this a staggering 110 times a day,[1] whilst another study carried out by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers found the average user checks their phone nearer to 150 times per day. That’s a lot of time that could be spent honing a discipline. A musical instrument could be a great way to channel that nervous fidgety energy, whilst reading helps us to become more focused.[2]

1 in 5 people aged 18-34 have used their smartphones during sex

Oh, the modern world! For every incredible benefit that technology brings us, there seems to be an equally compelling argument that it dulls us to distraction. In a survey carried out by Harris Interactive for ID verification startup Jumio, this surprising statistic came to light. Nearly 20 percent of young adult smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 34 in the U.S. have said they use their smartphones during sex.[3]

No wonder new age positivity mind-set literature is turning into such a strong subculture. We need someone fighting the present tense’s corner when so many people seem so inclined to escape the moment they’re in. If someone can’t value the person they’re with during such an intimate act, what are the chances they place little value on other things that make their life what it is? Maybe it’s time to re-connect with the little things in life that make us happy.

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77% of parents and teens have argued about smartphone usage

A less surprising statistic perhaps, but no less worrying. According to a poll carried out by Common Sense Media, 50% of teens feel they have cell phone addiction, and the majority have argued with their parents over device usage.[4]

In an example of the sacrifices we’ll make to stay connected, Terry Greenwald, a father of three and custodian at a high school in Homer, Alaska, told CNN that the hallways where he works are often half-filled with “teenage zombies who are glued to their phones.”

50% of people feel uneasy when they leave phones at home

Is increased connectivity worth it if losing a device starts to feel like we’re losing control of our lives? This is already becoming a problem. A 2010 study by the UK Post Office found that nearly 53 percent of mobile phone users in Britain become anxious when they can’t use their devices. The reason was primarily that they feared missing calls or messages.

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Nomophobia. Remember the word.[5] The way things are going it’ll probably be in much more common usage in years to come.

Sadly, it’s important to note that missing a message doesn’t mean the end of the world. Some people in the tech industry take measures to drive this home. Steve Hilton, head of a Silicon Valley tech startup doesn’t use a phone.[6] Other bigwig CEO’s use flip phones as they feel the reduced functionality helps them to disconnect.[7]

26% of car accidents are caused by phone usage

Sadly, cell phone addiction can also lead to loss of life if a person is so attached to their phone that they use it recklessly. A recent NSC report has shown that 1 in 4 car accidents are caused by cell phone usage.[8] The NSC also feel that the statistics may be higher as not all drivers are willing to admit using their smartphones whilst driving.

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The findings also revealed the surprising statistic that only 5% of smartphone related crashes occur because the driver is texting. The majority occur whilst a driver is distracted talking on hands-free. There’s a very obvious solution to this. Unless it’s an emergency, the conversation can most likely wait.

Reference

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Christopher Young

Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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