Anyone who owns an iPhone, or is friends with someone who does, knows how easy it is to become completely absorbed in the device. The phrase “There’s an App for That” has become as well-known as “I’m Lovin It” or “Just Do It.” But have we moved from being absorbed to being addicted to the phone?
Stanford University recently conducted a survey of 200 students with iPhones, asking them to rank the level of their dependency on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most. According to LiveScience, 10% of the students admitted to being completely addicted to the device (5) and 34% said they were more addicted than not (4). Meanwhile, only 6% said they weren’t addicted at all.
Perhaps the most startling fact is that three quarters of those surveyed “admitted to falling asleep with the iPhone in bed with them, and 69 percent said they were more likely to forget their wallet than their iPhone when leaving in the morning.” Maybe we need to get our priorities in order. I’ll admit that I, too, own an iPhone but there’s no way I consider it more vital to my day-to-day life than my wallet. And it certainly doesn’t deserve pillow-space on my bed. So what gives?According to LiveScience, the professor in charge of the study explained that this addiction wasn’t just about the iPhone itself, but rather because the phone “had so much personal information that it became a kind of extension of the mind and a means to have a social life. It just kind of captured part of their identity."
While this study was limited to iPhone users, I suspect that Blackberry users aren’t all that much better. (Remember the chaos that ensued when Blackberry’s communication system crashed for a few hours?) And though it’s still in its early stages, I think people who buy the Google phone may experience a similar kind of dependency in the future, especially now that Google has announced they are introducing their own app store.