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Online compulsions, such as gaming, gambling, stock trading, online shopping, or bidding on auction sites like e Bay can often lead to financial and job-related problems.

While gambling addiction has been a well-documented problem for years, the availability of Internet gambling has made gambling far more accessible.

While you can experience these impulse-control problems with a laptop or even desktop computer, the size and convenience of smartphones and tablets means that we can take them just about anywhere and gratify our compulsions.

In fact, studies suggest that most of us are rarely ever more than five feet from our smartphones.

Since few real-life relationships can compete with these neat, virtual relationships, you may find yourself spending more and more time with online friends, retreating from your real world family and friends.

Compulsive use of dating apps can change your focus to short-term hookups instead of developing long-term relationships.

In other words, the remedy you’re choosing for your anxiety (engaging with your smartphone), is actually making your anxiety worse.

While heavy phone use can often be symptomatic of other underlying problems—such as stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness—it can also exacerbate these problems.

If you use your smartphone as a “security blanket” to relieve feelings of anxiety, loneliness, or awkwardness in social situations, for example, you’ll succeed only in cutting yourself off further from the people around you.

This need to continually check and respond to email can contribute to higher stress levels and even burnout. The constant stream of messages and information from a smartphone can overwhelm the brain and make it impossible to focus attention on any one thing for more than a few minutes without feeling compelled to move on to something else.

Diminishing your ability to concentrate and think deeply or creatively.

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