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The problem: Becoming addicted to your phone has become such a real condition that experts have given it a name: "Nomophobia" (no-mobile-phone-phobia). It's not limited to the hardcore Wall Street types with their "crackberries" though; it's more widespread than we realized. A recent survey found that 84 percent of the world's population said they could not go one day without their phones, and current research shows that nearly two-thirds of teens and young adults check their phones every 15 minutes or less. The anxiety and stress over missing out on a text or Facebook update can take such a toll on peoples' health that Morningside Recovery Center in California recently founded the first rehab group for nomophobia.
The solution: "My best advice is to practice not checking in for periods of time," says Dr. Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and author of iDisorder. If you're having trouble keeping your hands off your phone, Rosen recommends checking the phone for a minute, then turning it on silent and placing it in plain sight, upside down. (Yes, keeping it in your line of sight is part of the challenge.) After 15 minutes, take a "tech break" and check for one minute before putting the phone down again -- and then repeat the process, slowly increasing the focus time from 15 minutes to 20, then 25, then 30. "Over time, the person learns that the anxiety is not real and is not harmful, and nothing awful happens if you don't check your phone so often," he explains.