Breaking up with your iPhone
I admit it: I am an iPhone addict. But while I’m writing this blog post I am looking at my roommates: one watching television while texting her hockey friend; the other one sitting on the stairs fighting with her boyfriend; and the last one studying, like me, while checking her iPhone every minute or so. The only one really focusing on what she is doing seems to be the one fighting…
Now I would like to ask you to think about this: how many times a day do you check your smartphone? To check how many likes you got on that picture you uploaded 15 minutes ago? Or who sent you a message over Whatsapp?
The age of the smartphone started in 2007, when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 1. His words, “This will change everything”, did not go in vain. Now, eight years down the line this invention did indeed change everything: from our personal lives to our interpersonal relationships; from the way we do business to the way we do our groceries. Our smartphone is interweaved in almost every aspect of our lives.
Although the introduction of the smartphone made our lives easier, more comfortable, and more safe in many ways there is also a shadow side: the growing smartphone addiction. Only in Europe more than 50% of the children between 9 and 16 reported overdependence related to their smartphone usage.
Mobile phone usage has been linked to (The Huffington Post, 2012):
- Sleep deprivation
- Symptoms of depression
In the report published by Net Children Go Mobile in 2014, almost three out of four children (72%) said to “feel they have to be always available to family and friends”. This social pressure might result into anxiety and stress for the younger generation. Also the “entrapment” of feeling you have to be available 24/7 and reply as soon as you read a message could increase the anxiety among these young children (Net Children Go Mobile, 2014).
It is interesting to see how those small technological devices can have such a substantial impact on our mental, and sometimes even physical, wellbeing. Many of us seem to have come to see them as an extension of who we are. How is it even possible there was a big connection between our heart rate and blood pressure surging when our phone is ringing across the room from us but we can’t reach it (Steinmetz, 2015)?
We are the first generation to grow up digitally native, while these developments show alarming facts about just us, our generation, growing up.
What do you think? Should we break up with our smartphones every once in a while…?
Singer, M., (2014). Smartphone addiction among European kids – Market Business News. [online] Market Business News. Available at: http://marketbusinessnews.com/smartphone-addiction-among-european-kids/23575 [Accessed 26 Sep. 2015].
Steinmetz, K. (2015). Here’s How to Battle Your Smartphone Addiction. [online] TIME.com. Available at: http://time.com/3952333/smartphone-addiction/ [Accessed 26 Sep. 2015].
The Huffington Post, (2015). Heavy Technology Use Linked to Fatigue, Stress and Depression in Young Adults. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-volpi-md-pc-facs/technology-depression_b_1723625.html [Accessed 26 Sep. 2015].