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Smartphone Addiction Test

Smartphone Addiction Test

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Are you addicted to your smartphone? This simple smartphone addiction test is adapted from validated university research to help you determine if you might be addicted to your device.

After the test, I’ve included a comprehensive resource article to help you reduce your usage and break your smartphone addiction.

Note: This online test is a quick screening for phone addiction and is not a diagnostic tool. If problematic smartphone usage is interfering in your normal activities and relationships, you should seek treatment from a qualified medical practitioner.

Smartphone addiction test

The Smartphone Addiction Scale Short Version (SAS-SV) is a 10-item self-report scale used to assess device addiction. Each item is rated on a 6-point scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). The total score is the sum of scores on all 10 items and can range from 10 to 60.

To take the test, select your gender and then use the following key to respond to the questions.

  1. Strongly Disagree: Completely disagree with the statement.
  2. Disagree: Generally disagree with the statement.
  3. Somewhat Disagree: Slightly or somewhat disagree with the statement.
  4. Somewhat Agree: Slightly or somewhat agree with the statement.
  5. Agree: Generally agree with the statement.
  6. Strongly Agree: Completely agree with the statement.
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6

Test results interpretation

Individual items and total score range are the same for men and women, but the recommended cut-off values suggesting addiction risk are lower for women compared to men on this scale.

The higher the total score, the greater the level of smartphone addiction indicated for both genders.


  • 10 to 22 = No addiction
  • 23 to 37 = Potential addiction
  • 38 to 60 = High addiction risk


  • 10 to 32 = No addiction
  • 33 to 47 = Potential addiction
  • 48 to 60 = High addiction risk

What is smartphone addiction?

Nomophobia is a modern term for smartphone addiction (NO MObile PHone PhoBIA) and describes the fear people experience of being detached from their mobile phones. It is not yet fully understood if smartphone addiction occurs by itself or is an extension of other psychological conditions such as social anxiety, social phobias, panic disorders, low self-esteem, or an extroverted personality that needs constant validation. Physiological responses to mobile phone deprivations may include anxiety, respiratory alterations, trembling, perspiration, agitation, disorientation and tachycardia.


Phones have embedded themselves into every aspect of our lives where it is almost impossible to function in society without one. Identifying the causes of phone addiction can be difficult but it’s believed to involve psychological (fear of missing out, social validation), social (the need to remain socially connected), and technological factors (phones are designed to be addictive).

Signs and symptoms

In a recent study in PLoS One, Lin and colleagues proposed a list of diagnostic criteria for core symptoms which, interestingly, are similar to substance-related and addictive disorders. Signs and symptoms of smartphone addiction include:

  • Excessive use: Smartphone overuse on a daily basis and frequently losing track of time.
  • Ignoring responsibilities: Using a smartphone robs your attention at the expense of more important responsibilities like work, school, or other important obligations.
  • Withdrawal: You feel noticeably irritable, anxious, or restless when smartphone is not accessible.
  • Tolerance: Like a drug, your brain craves more and more time on the phone to derive the same level of satisfaction.
  • Inability to cut back: You try to cut back but repeatedly fail no matter how hard you try.
  • Obsession: You find yourself constantly thinking about your phone and planning what to do when you pick it up again.
  • Effects on relationships: Your problematic phone use is causing a deterioration in relationships with family, friends, partners, and work colleagues.
  • Loss of interest: You have lost interest in activities you previously enjoyed preferring to spend time on your phone.
  • Used as an escape: You use a phone as a way of soothing feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness.
  • Ignoring safety: You use your phone in dangerous situations like driving or crossing the street, or have tried taking selfies from the edge of a cliff.

Negative effects of smartphone addiction

Research on smartphone addiction has come a long way as phones have come of age, and we now have a better understanding of the prevalence of problematic phone use, physiological and psychological effects, and potential treatments.

A 2021 report comprehensively reviewed the existing scientific evidence on smartphone addiction and its effects on physical and mental health.

Some of the key findings associated with problematic phone use include:

How to break a smartphone addiction

Breaking your smartphone addiction will require a multi-prong approach. Instead of thinking about what you are “losing” by not being on your phone as much, consider how much you have to gain by reengaging with the real world again, such as reconnecting in-person with the most important people in your life, getting back into activities that you previously enjoyed but had taken a backseat to your phone use, and becoming overall more productive in your personal and professional life.

Remember that the aim is not to completely eliminate your phone from your life, but rather to find a healthy balance and use it judiciously. Once you’ve regained control, you’ll need to monitor your usage over time and adjust to avoid slipping back into old habits.

Here are some helpful strategies to break your phone addiction:

  1. Recognise the problem: You must first acknowledge that your smartphone addiction is negatively affecting your life. Once you’re honest with yourself on the extent to which your phone is impacting your life, it can give you perspective and help you understand the importance of breaking the grip it has on you.
  2. Identify triggers: Identify situations and emotions that precipitate your smartphone use. Do you reach for your phone when you’re bored, stressed, anxious, or need social validation?
  3. Set goals and limits: Set small realistic goals that are achievable in the beginning rather than trying to go completely phone free in a single day. Set a daily time limit for non-essential use such as mindless social media scrolling (set up time limits within your phone for specific apps). You could also designate times and locations as “no-smartphone zones” (i.e., when you’re with your friends, working, etc).
  4. Remove temptations: Out of sight, out of mind. Leave your phone in a different room or even locked in your car. If your phone must be physically with you, uninstall addictive apps, turn off all notifications, and put your phone on silent mode.
  5. Find alternative activities: With all your free non-phone time, consider healthy and productive ways to fill your non-phone free time. Reconnect with your body by exercising (i.e., the gym, riding a bike, walking, jogging). Find new hobbies, read more books, and spend quality time with family and friends.
  6. Practice mindfulness: Become aware and mindful of your thoughts and behaviours. Consider alternative reactions when you feel an urge to reach for your phone. What can you replace it with? As with physical exercise for your body, practice mindfulness and meditation to regain control of your mind.
  7. Seek support: Recovering from smartphone addiction is not easy and it’s a good idea to seek support from friends and family. If your addiction is severe enough, seek out a qualified therapist or counsellor to help work through any underlying issues that might be precipitating your phone overuse.
  8. Be patient and persistent: It will take time and effort, so be patient and persistent through setbacks. Celebrate small victories during recovery and understand that every little step forward will help you reach your goal.
  9. Digital detoxes: Take periodic “digital detoxes” to cut the smartphone umbilical cord and unplug for a set period of time. For example, you might plan your weekend with friends and then leave the phone turned off at home (i.e., you can still pay with cash or a credit card!). Or go camping and lock the phone away while you reconnect with yourself in nature. A digital detox can help reinforce your commitment to a balanced relationship with your phone.

Take home message

We’re all hamsters running on the big “attention economy” wheel, and the smartphone is what connects us to countless companies competing for our time and attention spans. But at what cost to our humanity?

The world is engineered around smartphones and there is no way to completely avoid using them. But we can make more intelligent and conscientious choices about how we use our phones and spend our time.

Remember that recovering from your smartphone addiction is a process and will require some trial-and-error to find the strategies that work best for you. Once you strike the right balance, you will feel healthier and in control in your life.


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