Baylor University has claimed that smartphones are as addictive as drugs, but is it just hype? A serial smartphone user spoke to us to dispel the findings (via Skype).
A recent study from Baylor University made the connection that smartphone addiction shares many similarities with those addicted to drugs and alcohol, so The Big Smoke asked a smartphone addict if there is any truth in the findings.
Let me start by saying that I don’t have a smartphone problem, I have a boredom problem.
I see it simply. I have to spend a two-hour round trip to work, and I won’t spend that time bored. I originally tried reading books, but I don’t have the stamina, it just made me sleep, so my dive into the smartphone was easy. It’s like my own magic antisocial cave of wonders! I can carry on with the TV series I was watching in bed last night, transplanting it to morning light.
But saying that, I’m not an addict like the study says, and the comparison is frankly ridiculous. I don’t need my smartphone in my life; it’s just easier to have it, that’s all. My relationships have not suffered, my friends and my partner are used to it. Whether at home or work, lounge or toilet, my auxiliary function is glancing at my phone. I’m not causing anyone trouble, as those who criticise can’t tell me exactly what their problem with my smartphoning exactly is.
And if anything, I’m more social and more connected. I’m always available, I never hide from social situations, so I’m not sure what the problem is.
The study and the article attached to it, claim smartphone “addicts” feel a sense of loss and anxiety when the battery dies. I’ve never paid any attention to how I’m feeling, I just plug it in and wait for an operable amount of battery to return.
As for the other claims that the article made, where those beset by the condition ignore their careers, their partners or their children. Again, more fiction. I work for a major electronics retailer – you know the one, the Californian one – and my partner uses her smartphone as much as I do. And we have no children. I realise these generalisations don’t fit all, but, nonetheless, I don’t agree that I fit the mould, be it through behaviour, or situation.
So, as far as smartphone addiction being a thing? Not that I’ve seen. I just see people enjoying themselves, because technology allows them to.