Service Unavailable: A Smartphone Intervention - Day 1

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- It TMs been just over eight hours since I turned off my phone for this news series and within minutes I noticed how addicted to it I was. I found myself reaching for the smartphone sitting on my desk only to find a cold, black screen. Eventually, I had to put the temptation away.

Out of sight, out of mind right? That TMs what I thought until I started hearing my ringtone quietly pulsing from the messenger bag sitting at my side. Even though the phone was off, it seemed to be haunting me, beckoning me to give up this crazy experiment and become connected once again.

It turns out I need the device more than I thought. It TMs not that I rely on it, but just find myself going to it out of habit; the true definition of an addiction.

But I guess I shouldn TMt feel too bad about admitting that. Apparently, it TMs a real problem. Real enough that, the go-to diagnosis website for hypochondriacs and concerned moms alike, has a page dedicated to it.

In the undated article, doctors say it TMs proven that the Internet and certain kinds of technology can be addictive.

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Experts recommend a three step approach to curb the dependence: staying aware of when and why you check your phone, ignoring or turning off alerts and simply saying no to picking it up at every impulse.

But with so many apps and a constant sense of connectivity, it TMs easy to harbor an addiction and give in. It TMs just so useful. It can organize your life, or are we organizing our lives around it?

I see it as more of a tool than as an obstruction, but now that I'm without it I see how I've made a smartphone a central part of my life.

To me, it TMs not just a toy. It TMs the greatest invention ever. Okay, I guess I TMd rank it just behind spray on hair, but it TMs a close second.

It's going to be a long week without my phone constantly by my side, but at least I still have Twitter. For more updates on Service Unavailable throughout the day you can follow me @chrisabbotts.

I want to hear what you have to say about this experiment and cell phone addiction? Is it real, or is it just a transition that we're going through in society? Leave a comment below to weigh in.