By Kennedy Werner
Try this: turn your smartphone off, hide it in a drawer somewhere, and leave it there for an hour.
Could you even do it? If so, did you find yourself antsy to check it?
More and more in America, we’re becoming what are called habitual checkers. No matter if it rings or not, you feel a tendency and obligation to browse your phone for a quick minute. That is, check emails, glance at text messages, or scroll through social media apps.
“Regardless of where I’m at, it’s always a habit to check and scroll through Twitter or Instagram,” said WLC junior Miles Hoy.
Staff at Dailymail.com has found that the average person checks their smartphone 150 times a day. A “check” means using the phone for at least 30 seconds within 10-minute increments. They also found that most people are completely unaware of what they’re doing.
Senior Marko Beslach, believes Dailymail.com is on to something. “I wouldn’t doubt that. I check my phone without a purpose, just to look around and stay entertained,” he said.
Loren Frank, neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco told CNN, “It’s extremely common, and very hard to avoid. We don’t even consciously realize we’re doing it.”
So how is this affecting you? According to Buisnessinsider, 90% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their phone bedside. Although most would argue that the phone simply is there for alarm clock usage, it is a constant reminder that you are “on call”.
“Of course I sleep with my phone by my bed,” said junior Joseph Hanna, “Where else would it go?”
This means that you are available to communicate at wee hours of the night as it sits there tempting you. Clearly, this affects one’s sleeping schedule leading to sleep deprivation, but what about daylight hours?
“Sometimes I’m awake until midnight or beyond,” said junior Alexa Isso, “I struggle to put my phone down and get to bed.”
Smartphones create dangerous and dependent people as shown by the Mobile Mindset Study performed through the security app Lookout. The scary statistics confirm that 30% of participants check their phones while dining with someone, 40% check while on the toilet, 24% check while driving (illegal), and 9% check during religious services. Not only is this unhealthy, but as cell phones continue to influence daily actions like driving, eating, sleeping, and praying, they continue to control the American people.
Sound a lot like Big Brother to anyone else?
In a consumer-based society, rival companies stack phones on top of phones, like a game of Jenga, to see who can be more successful. With the Nexus 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Windowsphone, Android, and Blackberry, companies are prepared to feed the addiction this Holiday Season, hoping to profit off the American people’s illness.
“I’m just as guilty as the rest,” said mother and consumer Kathy Masters, “I have the iPhone 5, my kids both have brand new iPhone 5s’. I am planning on purchasing a 5s for myself this Christmas. It truly is compulsion.”
So what is one to do? Try this: iPhones have a “Do Not Disturb” setting, turn that on before bed, an important family meal, or work meeting. If not, go the old fashioned way, turn the phone off when you feel it’s considered rude to be on it in certain situations. Once you allow you and your phone time apart, the addiction and temptation will ease itself with time.