Smartphone addiction, compared to other addictions, is fairly acceptable but it can still be debilitating for some. The anxiety that some people feel when they're without their phones is real and there's even a term for it: nomophobia or the fear of being without a mobile phone. A new study has found that more than half of smartphone owners believe they're addicted to their devices.
The study by Frontrange, a software firm, asked 800 smartphone owners what they thought about smartphone addiction. 84 percent said they think smartphone addiction exists, 71 percent know a friend or family member who might be addicted to his or her smartphone, 57 percent worry their smartphone usage will increase over time and 52 percent believe they suffer from a smartphone addiction. The study also found that 36 percent of those surveyed are very concerned with smartphone addiction, 22 percent are concerned, 26 percent are somewhat concerned and 16 percent are not at all concerned.
The study also asked seven participants to try going without their smartphones for a week and record their levels of anxiety. The week of smartphone withdrawal found that participants missed basic phone functions such as calling and texting more than their apps. The participants recorded 79 percent more instance of anxiety when they couldn't use their phone to call or text over the smartphone-specific usages.
The participants who gave up their smartphones for a week reported feeling the benefits of doing so. "I was forced to do the healthier thing and just enjoy what I was doing that minute," one participant said. "I've actually really enjoyed my time not using my smartphone - it's kind of like a detox for me," said another.
While calls and texts are important for keeping us connected, the numerous other smartphone features might actually be stopping us from connecting with the person sitting across the table from us. Maybe it's time for us to go back to dumb phones. At least for a little while.
Could you give up your smartphone for a week? Let us know in the comments.
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