How bad is your mobile phone addiction?

June 30, 2015
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There are almost as many mobile phones on the planet as there are people, and about 30 million of those are in use in Australia – amazing, especially considering our population is only on its way to being 24 million. We are a nation obsessed with our portable communication gadgets, and it seems we’re not even mildly embarrassed to admit it.

In fact, like many addicts, we refuse to acknowledge we have a problem. So how bad is it for you? Swallow your pride and take Hijacked’s Phone Addiction Rating Test (PhART) to determine your level of obsession.

When was the last time you left the house without your mobile phone?

a)      I do it all the time.

b)      Rarely, but it happens.

c)      The day of my chemistry exam. When I realised I’d forgotten it, I literally ran straight home to retrieve it, knocking over a little old lady on my way. I missed my chemistry exam, but it was only worth 60 per cent of my final overall mark, so it was worth it.

d)     I don’t understand the question. How could anyone, ever, do anything at all without their phone?

How many times a day do you check your phone for texts, emails or social media updates?

a)      Once or twice.

b)      Ten to 20 times.

c)      Fifty+ times.

d)     It’s probably easier to count the times I’m not checking it.

When you sleep, where do you put your phone?

a)      Wherever I left it last.

b)      On the charger downstairs.

c)      In the bedroom for easy night-time access.

d)     She rests beside me in a custom-made, diamond-encrusted holder, and her soft glow comforts me through the night.

You’re having lunch with a friend and her phone is next to her green smoothie on the table. Her phone continually buzzes throughout lunch, and she constantly checks it. How do you react?

a)      Angrily. It's so rude!

b)      I’m mildly annoyed. After a while, I ask if she’d mind temporarily switching it off.

c)      I’m fine with it. My own phone buzzes frequently through lunch too – it’s how we roll.

d)     I’m actually really annoyed – I’m glued to my own phone and my friend keeps interrupting me by trying to talk!

Do you turn off your phone when you go to the movies?

a)      Definitely!

b)      Sometimes.

c)      I put it on silent, but I leave it on so I can check it whenever I need to.

d)     ARE YOU CRAZY?!

How would you describe this woman (snapped texting while travelling 100km per hour on Melbourne’s EastLink freeway)?

a)      Douchebag.

b)      Naughty Nancy.

c)      Quite normal.

d)     Legend.


If you answered mostly As: You aren’t remotely obsessed with your mobile phone. In fact, why do you have one if you never use it? I’ve been trying to contact you for a week!

PhART level: Nil.

Mostly Bs: You have a healthy relationship with your phone. You use it make a handful of calls each day, to check social media sites on the train, and to book an Uber. Far from being a gadget-head, you still use an iPhone 4, and you think Apple Watch is some kind of newfangled fruit diet.

PhART level: Low.

Mostly Cs: You may not want to admit it, but you’re reasonably obsessed with your phone. It’s the first thing you look at each morning and the last thing you check at night. It’s the Romeo to your Juliet, your trusty sidekick, your faithful friend, your spirit animal. Nothing will come betwixt you… until you upgrade.

PhART level: Medium.

Mostly Ds: Call the authorities - we’ve got a live one here. You suffer from a serious case of nomophobia. You’ve lost your long-distance sight range and can focus only at arm’s length. You’re reading this on your mobile while driving, drinking coffee and filing your nails all at the same time. Stop. Breathe. Put the phone down. Actually, pick it up again and call someone. You need help.

PhART level: High.

Phoebe Hartley

Phoebe makes films, eats dumplings and studies journalism. She tweets sporadically at @phoebehartley.

Header image: Guian Bolisay, Flickr Creative Commons license

Body image: Herald Sun