Some users are so hooked on the gadgets that they even report feeling phantom vibrations, convincing them they've received a text or call when they haven't.
Psychologists from the University of Worcester found that some smartphone users become obsessive and upset when they do not receive notifications, such as Facebook or Twitter alerts, and emails, the Herald Sun reported.
They asked 100 owners of the devices to complete a questionnaire and psychometric stress test.
The results revealed that many of them had become so hooked on virtual socialising that they felt stressed and unhappy when their phones were inactive.
"So many people have smartphones now that the effect they are having on their lives and the amount of time they are spending on them is, to be honest, quite scary. The amount smartphones are being used is going up and up with the introduction of new apps," said study author Richard Balding.
"It is about weighing the good with the bad and moderating usage. From my study I found that users had a dependency with their phones and that they suffered from feelings of withdrawal when they didn't get any messages or alerts," he stated.