Are we “addicted” to smartphones?


Tiffany Schram

Above: An info-graph by Shutterstock shows the amount of time the average smartphone user is on their phone during various activities. 

A smartphone is like another world at your fingertips. But people can get lost in this world and lose touch with real life. The uses of the smartphone are endless, however, a limit on its use is necessary. Abusing the usage can lead to smartphone addiction. Yep, you heard right, addiction.

Over 70% of the United States population now own a smartphone according to a Pew Research Center survey on of the evolution of technology adoption and usage. They have become a necessity, and to many a best friend. Emotions are now expressed by emojis.

The first step to overcoming an addiction is admitting you have one. Yes, it’s hard and many may not even think their addicted. You shouldn’t feel the need take your prized possession into the shower or have nail-biting anxiety when you’re away from your phone. However, for many, this is a regular everyday routine.

A 2016 study done by Dr. David Greenfield, the director of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction using 1,000 AT&T customers. The results concluded that 90% of participants fall under the category of overuse or abuse of their devices. Over 60% surveyed said they regularly sleep with their cell or smartphone turned on under their pillow or next to their bed, and more than 50% feel uncomfortable when they leave their smartphone at home or in their car. This shows how much smartphones control one’s life.

Having access to endless information and connectivity at our fingertips is certainly enticing. However, letting it consume our lives and blocks meaningful relationships. Overuse can slow down your productivity and impede on your education. Don’t completely cut your ties with technology, but start to use it as the tool it’s meant to be rather than an every minute necessity.