Which personalities are more likely to become addicted to their smartphones?

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

For many of us, our smartphones are in our hands within moments of waking up in the morning.  Recent surveys have shown average Americans will check their phone about 150 times a day and some research shows that it could be even higher, up to 300 times a day. In addition, a recent Forbes article reported that 53% of young adults ages 15 to 30 would rather lose their sense of smell than lose their smartphone. 


But is there a link to smartphone addiction and specific personalities? 

A recent survey out of Baylor University looked at a sample of 346 college students and determined which of seven personality traits were more prone to smartphone addiction.  The results showed that those that had a low attention span and were quick to act on impulse had greater incidences of being addicted to smartphones. Also, those that were emotionally unstable, including those that were continually moody or temperamental, were more likely to be addicted, because they tend to seek distraction and consolation by checking their phones. In addition, extroverted college students were also more likely to show smartphone addiction. The need to “be connected” to others is one of the most important factors behind obsessively checking social media on phones. Introverted students did not show as much need for connection, so they were less inclined to give in to addictive smartphone use. The last group of people that were dependent on their phones were reported as materialistic. Many of them enjoyed using their phones in public to display the brands and features, which could be perceived as flaunting wealth. (1) 


Are you addicted to your smartphone? 

If you have recognized a problem with smartphone use, start cutting back phone use and encourage yourself as well as other family members in your house to turn off notifications or mute settings so you can start retraining yourself not to react as soon as you hear something come from your phone. In addition, every once in a while, it can be great to completely detox from digital devices altogether. Take a break for a day or two and use the time to read books, getting outside to explore a nice nature walk, or take a vacation that requires you to unplug completely. 

The bottom line is: you’re not going to be missing out on much if you stop checking your phone so much. Allowing yourself to live life in reality rather than as a passive bystander behind a screen is so much more important. Technology is an amazing tool, but if you let it control your life, there could be difficult consequences and results. 

Are you struggling to set boundaries for smartphone use, either for yourself or for your children and teenagers? Visit www.realbattle.org/resources/ for more information.


  1. Roberts, James. “These personality types are more likely to become addicted to their smartphones.” World Economic Forum. August 8, 2016. Accessed online November 16, 2016. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/these-personality-types-are-more-likely-to-become-addicted-to-their-smartphones