Are people addicted to having their phone in their hand like smokers are hooked to having a cigarette in their hand?

hand with cigarette
Photo Credit: massimo ankor via Compfight cc

Are people addicted to having their phone in their hand like smokers are hooked to having a cigarette in their hand?

I was walking from the parking lot, and instantly thought to grab my phone from my pocket and look through some of my apps…. I had just looked through my apps (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest) already before I left my house… This had surfaced the idea that it is just getting to be my instinct that whenever I am not physically doing something, I rely on my phone to pass time. Although this is sometimes a good idea, it just so happened to be a one of the first beautiful days in which I would have liked just enjoying being outside and not freezing. This thought rather bothered me. It sounds cliche, but the beauty around me was being ignored for the reason of finding out one of my old friends “is happy that the snow is melting”- this is crazy!! I could have been enjoying this pleasant weather myself but instead decided to read how one of my friends was. This really made me wonder what else I have missed because of the “need” to have my phone in my hand and be pointlessly spending time on it.

After really thinking about this I felt curious to do a little further research. There was a ton of articles about phone addictions- “Your cell phone is not a part of your body- you can let it go“, “Are you addicted to your Cellphone?”. In the first article mentioned, I read an sentence that really connected well with me, it had stated we need to take control back of our minds and stop compulsively checking our phone. It had also given some startling statistics, such as, the average person checks there phone 150 times…a day!, and that about 28% of today’s car accidents are a result of texting, calling, and using your phone in general! These are both insane high numbers.  The thing to also consider is that cellphone use is increasing with the newer generations. When I walk in the hallways and don’t use my phone approximately 3/5 people walking by me are on their phone. There is even a lot of Youtube videos about people being so absorbed by their smart phone that they run into things while walking. The numbers of increasing cell-phone pedestrian injuries are growing exponentially and a news report was even done on this epidemic.

This is getting to be an increasing problem and motivated me to make a new goal for this semester- to be more conscience about the amount of time I am using on my cellphone and to work on not reaching for my cellphone just to pass time. I completely agree that cellphones are beneficial to learning; however, my fear is that people will get so caught up on their phone that they’ll miss the real-life things happening right in front of them. Smokers who are trying to quit often struggle with not having something in their hand, I think this addiction is very similar to the new generation with having a cellphone in their hand, or at least on them. As I said before, I believe technology is essential for teaching; however, there comes a point where I wonder where the line is drawn on when technology is actually becoming overpowering more than useful.

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2 thoughts on “Are people addicted to having their phone in their hand like smokers are hooked to having a cigarette in their hand?

  1. This is a very interesting post Taylor. I too have struggled with the idea of being “too connected” or “too reliant” on my phone. I use my phone for everything at university, so much so that I don’t bother bringing books to most classes anymore. When I am outside of class I too catch myself on my phone, probably more than I should.

    Two years ago, however, I started taking a technology vacation for a couple weeks every year. In this I only use tech for work requirements and leave it at home for personal use. It is not the easiest thing to do but it helps me notice the world around me and hopefully brings me more aware to life when I am not on a tech vacation.

    1. That’s a great idea to do! I would like to think I would be able to do that but I find that my cellphone is my primary source for communicating with family and friends. Also, I think I would struggle with it as I would feel I was missing out on a lot of things. However, great job for you on being able to do that, I plan to try the same sort of thing but on a smaller scale.

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