The Smartphone Effect

Smartphones have given us the convenience of having information and entertainment on the go for years. Are we too addicted? How can we fix this problem? Written by Juliet Rocco

Let’s start with introductions: Hi, my name is Juliet, and I’m addicted to my smartphone. I’ve had this phone for a little less than two years, but I’d be lost without it. It never leaves my side.

I’m sure for many of you reading the above statement, you can relate. Do you sleep with your phone at your bedside? Have it resting on the sink counter while you shower? Do you leave it on the restaurant table so it’s never out of your sight? You’ve probably just answered nearly all of those questions with a very guilty “Yes”.

It’s ok guys. Just breathe.

When I was a kid, we had the D.A.R.E. program at my school, explaining the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and educating kids about peer pressure. Who would have thought a new addiction would surface less than a decade after I left 5th grade?

Today, it’s normal to see someone’s toddler using an iPad better than their parents, or young kids more interested in getting a Retweet from Justin Bieber rather than going outside to play. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, normal doesn’t always mean good.

MSNBC recently reported:

In a recent University of Maryland study, students around the world were asked to go without their cell phones for 24 hours. 70% of students quit the experiment, saying they couldn’t make it through a full day without their phones; less than a third of study participants were able to complete the day without checking their phones.

“I was itching, like a crackhead,” one American student told the researchers.

But does unplugging mean withdrawal for young cell phone users?

“Absolutely,” said Dr. Nancy Snyderman on Monday’s Morning Joe.

“You watch these kids trying to pull them away from the devices—blood pressure goes up, anxiety levels go up, stress hormones go up. It’s not just psychological ‘I miss my phone’, there is a real physiological response”

Are you able to go an entire day without your smartphone? How about your computer?

Remember the guy who decided to rid his life of technology for 90 days?

Takeaway: Although we live in a society that relies so heavily on technology, we can still work on limiting the daily use of our phones, tablets and laptops in order to engage with people more in real life. Take a breather, and enjoy what’s around you, not just on the screen. Moderation is key.

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