We’re all guilty of this habit – checking our smartphones more often than what is necessary. There’s no denying the importance of having a smartphone these days especially with our seemingly toxic work schedules. The only way for us to manage our personal life with our professional life while staying mobile is through smartphones. But when does our smartphone checking habit become too much?
According to the Pew Research Center which was conducted for the year 2012, around 46 percent of Americans own a smartphone. That is up considerably from the 21 percent of the population who owned a smartphone back in 2011. And according to a study by Harvard professor, Leslie Perlow, 70 percent of the 1,600 managers she surveyed checked their smartphones within an hour after waking up and 56 percent checked their phones an hour before sleeping. Moreover, 44 percent claimed that they would feel extreme anxiety should they lose their phone and not have a replacement within a week.
Are smartphones addictive?
While we often get a smartphone because of work, experts are asking if owning a smartphone leads to some sort of an addiction. It’s already been established that computers can be extremely addictive because of the feelings that they trigger when they are being used. Regardless of what you do online, whether you online shop or log in to a social networking website, using computers and the internet trigger happy emotions among individuals.
Even checking your e-mail has become extremely addicting for some people, too. Psychologists are referring to this as the “variable ration reinforcement”. Affected individuals always feel the need to check their inboxes hoping that they would get a nice e-mail from any of their contacts. The feeling is akin to that of playing slot machines. You’ll never know what you’re going to get and you keep on checking until you get a favorable result in the form of a satisfying e-mail.
And because of the increased capabilities that most smartphones are now equipped with, our handy dandy phones are no longer just limited to being used for calling or texting, and are more appropriately seen as small, mobile computers. This means that all the thrilling high you would get from checking your e-mail, Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as famous online shopping sites which you used to do using your PC, you can now easily do with just your smartphone on your hand.
Peter Harrington is a blogger who writes about a variety of topics from insurance to technology and gadgets. He has previously written for brands such as protectyourbubble.com smartphone insurance brand that offers affordable protection for all smartphone and gadget owners.