You’ve seen the zombie-like creatures walking throughout your workplace, shopping center or coffee house, wandering along with their eyes fixated on the flashy little device in the palm of their hand. In fact, you may be one of them.
Smartphones are addictive. It’s no secret. But just HOW addictive are they and what are the long term consequences of this rapidly emerging habit?
Do you feel naked, nervous and anxious without cell service while on vacation? How many times do you check your phone in a given hour?
Have you ever used your cell phone in the shower, the bathroom? What about your place of worship? (19% of Americans have!) These 11 facts might make you rethink your cell phone habits and reintroduce yourself to the real world.
Fact #1) Phone Addiction is Real – It’s Official
There are now actual treatment centers in California to treat those who believe they suffer from phone addiction. The official name of this addiction is Nomophobia, a term developed in Britain in 2008. Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
Fact #2) The Data is Shocking
According to a screen lock app, the average person checks/unlocks his or her cell phone 110 times each day. Those who might fall under the umbrella of this addiction, check their phone up to 900 times. Now that’s compulsive behavior to say the least.
Fact #3) Your Relationships and Job Are at Risk
Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the UF College of Medicine stated, “It’s not so much talking on the phone that’s typically the problem, although that can have consequences too,” Merlo said. “(It’s) this need to be connected, to know what’s going on and be available to other people. That’s one of the hallmarks of cell phone addiction.”
A study in the UK, from Staffordshire University was conducted which revealed “7 percent of people said the use of mobile phones had caused them to lose a relationship or job.”
Fact #4) A Rising Addiction Among Youth
According to a Wall Street Journal article, one in five school aged South Korean children experienced depression, anxiety and sleep problems when separated from their phone. The article stated that children in South Korea are losing their ability to read facial expressions and tone of voice. In other words, they are rapidly losing their social skills, so much that the Government is devoting time and money into addressing the negative side effects of phone addiction.
Fact #5) Phone Addicts are at Risk of Brain Cancer
For every 100 hours you talk on the phone, your risk of brain cancer increases by 5%. It’s best to keep calls short whenever possible and reserve long conversations for in-person.
Fact #6) Phone Obsession can be Life Threatening
Drivers ages 15-19 should pay close attention to this statistic. A staggering 21% of fatal car crashes were caused by cell phone usage for drivers between the ages 15-19. What’s worse, drivers who are texting while driving are 23 times more likely to crash than drivers who are not distracted.
Fact #7) 40% of People Would Rather Give up Brushing their Teeth for the Week than Give up their Phones for the Same Amount of Time
Still think phone addiction isn’t real? Enough said. Watch this video for other true, yet horrifying statistics.
Shaping Future Generation’s Smartphone Usage
Most people don’t know they are smartphone addicts, especially those under 18. If you are a parent, consider how your personal smartphone habits are shaping your children’s current and future phone behavior.
Many experts believe the earlier you introduce your child to a smartphone, the more addicted to the advice they become. Setting smartphone rules for your kids now can pay dividends in the future.