Constant Connectivity: Are You Addicted to Mobile?

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When's the last time you turned off your cellphone? I mean literally powered down on purpose, not because it died from a low battery. If you're like me, the answer is never.

Today our mobile devices allow us to keep in touch, conduct business, pay for goods and services, and even get through a bad date.

But at what point is this tech advancement of being able to always stay connected becoming an addiction that could have negative impacts on other parts of our lives?  

As with anything, an even balance is key. I'm not suggesting we turn our phones off—but even just putting it away in a drawer and taking time away to catch up with family face-to-face, play with your children, or give some attention to spouses or significant others, is something that’s badly needed in many homes today.

Image via Shutterstock

A recent survey from Bank of America shows that nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adult consumers actually never disconnect from their smartphone and only a small 7 percent actually shut their phones down completely when they go on vacation. 

The survey also found that 89 percent of the adults admitted they check their smartphones several times a day.

Things have gotten so bad for most of us in fact, that  71 percent of respondents admitted to sleeping with their smartphone, saying that using it is the last thing they do at night and the first thing they do in the morning—even before brushing their teeth, having a cup of coffee or talking to their significant other.

While the survey was conducted mostly to highlight how important mobile payments and banking services have become and how frequently smartphone users are accessing apps and tools in their every day lives, it is hard to ignore what survey respondents uncovered about  how dependent we are on our smartphones.

Flurry Insights also blogged about some of the interesting findings around mobile addiction today. The survey results showed a worldwide mobile addiction trend happening. In just one year the number of smart devices being used went up 1.3 billion to 1.8 billion. And the ways these users are making use of their devices also saw growth in the last year. From ‘regular users’ (using apps 1-16 times a day) to ‘super users’ (using apps 16-60 times a day) and even ‘mobile addicts’ (using apps 60+ times a day).

The chart below highlights these numbers.

via Flurry Insights

While it’s easy to suggest an even balance will do the trick, there is no doubt that getting off of the grid after being connected all this time will be pretty hard. Nearly half of survey respondents even said they would not last 24 hours if they were asked to not use their smartphone.

But there are positives to powering down from technology—like the chance to experience life as it is happening, right in front of you, before it’s too late. The following are three tips shared by Joshua Becker at Becomingaminimalist.com.

  • Pick a time of day, each day, whether it is at night or during lunch, and completely power down so you can teach yourself the discipline of disconnecting. 
  • Do not reach for your phone as soon as you wake up; find a better way to start your day.  
  • Block access to apps like social media, or games, that you find are sucking up a lot of your free time and focus on tasks you need/should be getting done instead. 



Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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