Is smartphone addiction even a thing? I read a pretty interesting article on WebMD recently about it. If you want to check it out in its entirety over on their site, you can do that here. It’s eye-opening in some ways. It made me think a lot about how often my phone is in my hands for one reason or another (or sometimes even for no reason at all). Recipes in the kitchen, cleaning tips in the bathroom, mindless scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest on the couch (or in the carpool line or the grocery store line or anywhere, really), organization and decluttering blogs in the kids’ bedrooms. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said the words, “Hold on - I’ll tell you,” and then picked up my phone to look up how old a particular actor is or who sings a particular song or some other very important bit of information. I use my phone for everything! Email, social media, texting, phone calls, taking pictures… everything! I’m sure you can relate.
But back to the issue at hand. Is it really an addiction?
Not necessarily, according to David Greenfield, PhD, a psychologist in Connecticut and the author of Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyber Freaks, and Those Who Love Them. He says, as most would agree is true, that “the internet and certain forms of computer use are addictive.” Addiction, though, involves growing tolerant of a substance (like drugs or alcohol, for instance) and needing more and more of it to feel the effects. Technology does have mood-altering tendencies - picture yourself when you’re waiting for an important email from a client or a significant other, or when your sister wants you to wait to disclose news of her pregnancy until she makes it “Facebook official,” or when you’re bored out of your mind or frustrated and know that checking on your clan or taking a quick spin of the Trivia Crack wheel will fix it all. Your smartphone is the answer to all of the above, and more.
Is using it unhealthy, though? Possibly, if work and/or family life are being affected in negative ways, but at least one study (published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing) suggests that it’s not our phones we’re addicted to. It’s the habits associated with said phones. It’s the constant checking up on things, and the inability to put the phone down because of a fear of missing something important or interesting and being left out of the loop. I think it’s unconscious sometimes - we find ourselves checking our phones when they haven’t beeped or buzzed or given any kind of notification at all that they need to be checked, and we do it without thinking.
As I mentioned in a recent post about who uses smartphones and for what, a lot of truly important things happen on these marvelous little (and some not so little) devices we have at our fingertips at (almost) all times. Health questions, job applications, travel advice, as well as keeping in touch through text messages, emails, and phone calls - all of those things need to be done and if smartphones are the primary connection point between ourselves and the vast world of information and knowledge, they are crucial.
Keeping phones charged is also crucial, which is where NV3 Technologies comes in. The simple act of placing a cell phone charging kiosk at your place of business can make all the difference to your customers. Call us today to find out more about how we can help.