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Take This Smart Phone Addiction Quiz

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Take the quick 12 question quiz below to find out!   Dr. James Roberts, writing in Yahoo, makes the following observations: Sixty-eight percent of adult Americans sleep with their cellphones next to their beds. A majority text or talk while driv…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Take the quick 12 question quiz below to find out!


Dr. James Roberts, writing in Yahoo, makes the following observations:

Sixty-eight percent of adult Americans sleep with their cellphones next to their beds. A majority text or talk while driving.

A Harris Interactive poll shows that a third check their phones during movies. Twenty percent do this during church.

So is there such a thing as cellphone addiction?


Anything that can produce pleasure in your brain has the potential of becoming addictive. Loss of control is the essential element of any addiction.

Research has identified the “six signs” of any type of substance or behavioral addiction. Those six signs – salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse – apply to cellphone addiction as well.

Are you addicted?

Let’s see…

The full text of the quiz:

Read the definitions of each of the six signs below and then agree or disagree with the following statements. By the time you’ve completed this task, you will have a better idea of whether you’ve reached your tipping point when it comes to your cellphone use.



A behavior becomes salient when it is deeply integrated into your daily routine.

1. The first thing I reach for after waking in the morning is my cellphone.

2. I would turn around and go back home on the way to work if I had left my cellphone at home.


Who knows what the beep, buzz, whistle, or stylized ringtone might have in store for you? The feeling of anticipation or excitement that precedes and/or follows the use of your cellphone is a mood modification that can result in euphoria.

3. I often use my cellphone when I am bored.

4. I have pretended to take calls to avoid awkward social situations.


As in the case of drug and alcohol abuse, tolerance addresses the need for an ever-increasing “dose” of the behavior to achieve the desired “high.”

5. I find myself spending more and more time on my cellphone.

6. I spend more time than I should on my cellphone.

Withdrawal symptoms

The feelings of irritability, stress, anxiousness, desperation, and even panic that often occur when you are separated from your cellphone are good examples of withdrawal symptoms.

7. I become agitated or irritable when my cellphone is out of sight.

8. I have gone into a panic when I thought I had lost my cellphone.


A common outcome of cellphone addiction is conflict. Do your spouse or children complain that you are always on your phone? Do you allow texts, calls, and e-mails to spoil your vacations and personal time? Are your work activities interrupted by playing games, visiting Facebook, and countless other forms of entertainment offered on your cellphone?

9. I have argued with my spouse, friends, or family about my cellphone use.

10. I use my cellphone while driving my car.


When we acknowledge that our cellphone use may be undermining our well-being, we attempt to stop. But then we slip back. We relapse.

11. I have tried to curb my cellphone use, but the effort didn’t last very long.

12. I need to reduce my cellphone use, but am afraid I can’t do it.

Are you addicted?

It’s time to see if you have crossed the tipping point from reasonable cellphone use to a potentially addictive habit. To calculate your score, simply add up the number of “agree” responses to each of the 12 statements and check the results.

8 + “Agrees”

You need a reservation at the Betty Ford Clinic for habitual cellphone users.

5-7 “Agrees”

You have crossed the tipping point and are moving quickly to full-blown cellphone addiction.

3-4 “Agrees”

You have not yet reached your tipping point, but need to carefully assess how your cellphone is influencing your life.


So, how did you do? We are trying to learn about this issue. We want a sample size of at least 100. Please put your score down in the comment section and identify yourself as a racer, a parent, or someone else. And let us know what you plan to do about it! (see posts here and here for help)

Comments (13)

  • I had 3-4 agrees. Not a racer, nor a parent of a racer. Just someone else. However, I find this to be a hot-button topic Just came from a family get together where a older gentleman was there but not present because he was spending the time on his smart phone.

  • Wow! not a racer or parent either, just a friend. Seriously, WOW! I need an Intervention! I use excuses like I need it for work away from the office. It’s true I do field calls and emails at home. My industry never sleeps. However, I seriously need to leave it in the bedroom during family time and in the car when at social gatherings. Thanks for the wake up!

    • It’s encouraging to hear that others I respect struggle w/ being connected as I do. In the past my friends would have put me in an AA-type clinic for this…

  • I got 3-4 and I honestly would have gotten less but I need to always have my phone with me for my job. This is a great topic you’re shedding light on!

  • I had a 3-4. I’m a former Racer of course 🙂

    I love the reach and variety my phone affords me, I’ve written whole journals on it, participated in valuable Facebook threads, watched a LOT of home improvement and woodworking videos, and chatted with lots of friends. But, fortunately still, I recognize that I am usually happier when I’m doing something in real life that is more satisfying than being on my phone. E.g. if I’m catching up with a friend, I’m very happy to put my phone on silent and forget all about it.

    • Hey Ian. So you’re into woodworking, huh?

      I think you’ve hit on the issue here: like any tool, this one has the potential for abuse. We just have to live life on purpose, focusing on those things that are important.

  • Cool topic. I just left a church service where the cell service was jammed.

    I got 3-4, probably deserved more.

  • I’m a Racer parent and sadly I’m in the 8+ category. Sigh. Thanks so much for the articles and showing me the log in my own eye!!

  • I am the parent of a racer. I had 3-4 agrees. Some of the questions I agreed because I would do that behavior under certain circumstances but not all of the time. There are so many situations that would cause different behavior – for example, I would carry around my cell phone with me if I was waiting for a status update call about a relative being in a wreck, or something like that. As a high school teacher, I deal with students wanting to constantly check their cell phones during class. My rule, and the school policy, is that the students may use their phones during “down times” – between classes and during lunch. During class, however, my students put their cell phones away in their backpacks and are not allowed to check them (although a few try to sneak them out for a quick look.) The rub, though, is that there are MANY excellent ways to use cell phones and technology in education, so banning cell phones would eliminate those opportunities. I think the same is true of the World Race: there are many excellent ways to use cell phones and technology on the World Race, and banning cell phones would eliminate those opportunities. Three good articles about the App Generation/Generation Y are http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/2014/02/12/apps-howard-gardner-katie-davis (includes an excellent video), http://magazine.biola.edu/article/10-fall/how-is-technology-shaping-generation-y/, and https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/digital-pandemic/201404/technology-is-here-stay-get-over-it.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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