Smartphone use can be addictive? A case report (2016)

J Behav Addict. 2016 Sep 7:1-5.

Körmendi A1, Brutóczki Z2, Végh BP3, Székely R3.


Background and aims

The use of mobile phones has become an integral part of everyday life. Young people in particular can be observed using their smartphones constantly, and they not only make or receive calls but also use different applications or just tap touch screens for several minutes at a time. The opportunities provided by smartphones are attractive, and the cumulative time of using smartphones per day is very high for many people, so the question arises whether we can really speak of a mobile phone addiction? In this study, our aim is to describe and analyze a possible case of smartphone addiction.


We present the case of Anette, an 18-year-old girl, who is characterized by excessive smartphone use. We compare Anette’s symptoms to Griffiths’s conception of technological addictions, Goodman’s criteria of behavioral addictions, and the DSM-5 criteria of gambling disorder.


Anette fulfills almost all the criteria of Griffiths, Goodman, and the DSM-5, and she spends about 8 hr in a day using her smartphone.


Anette’s excessive mobile phone usage includes different types of addictive behaviors: making selfies and editing them for hours, watching movies, surfing on the Internet, and, above all, visiting social sites. The cumulative time of these activities results in a very high level of smartphone use. The device in her case is a tool that provides these activities for her whole day. Most of Anette’s activities with a mobile phone are connected to community sites, so her main problem may be a community site addiction.

KEYWORDS: behavioral addiction; smartphone addiction; social network sites

PMID: 27599674

DOI: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.033