Perhaps right now? Because you are using it to read this article!?
Are you aware that you are actually spending a substantial amount of your time with your smartphone every day?
How surprised would you be if I told you that you spend over two hours on your smart phone each day?
According to eMarketer, adults in the United States spent about 3 hours and 35 minutes on their smartphones per day in 2018. The Telegraph have also reported that the average adult in the United Kingdom spends about 24 hours on their smartphone a week and 20% of them are spending at least 40 hours a week online. I guess we all love the simple yet amazing convenience of the digital era, after all it connects us to the world and widens our horizons in everyday life.
Millennials might be the generation who kick-started the age of smartphones, but almost every one of us is holding a smartphone today. Data from Pew Research Center showed that 92% of Millennials, 85% of Gen Xers, 67% of Baby Boomers and 30% of Silent Generation owns a smartphone in 2018.
However, 54% of Millennials, 64% of Gen Xers, 52% of Baby Boomer and 25% of Silent Generation own a computer in 2018. You can see that even the Silent Generation prefer to use smartphones than a computer in this technological era. This explained why people are prepared to invest more in a smartphone than they would a computer now.
It’s no surprise that we are already at the point of compulsive smartphone use. Research revealed that almost all smartphones users are equally addicted to their device, regardless if they are Millennials, Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, or the Silent Generation. GlobeNewswire stated that around 25% of Millennials and 10% of Baby Boomers check their phones more than 100 times in twenty-four hours. About 50% of Millennials and 15.9% of Baby Boomers check their phones for 50 times or more in a day. How many times do you see your phones? Let try to record and document it for a day.
Are you willing to give up your phones for a day? how about a month?
According to the recent online surveys, smartphone users would rather give up their family, friends, sex for a week, or 4% would even go to prison than to be deprived of smartphones. Statistically shown that users will not surrender their smartphones for a month to trade for a day with their favourite celebrity (74%), ten per cent of salary increment (56%), an extra week of vacation (50%), 1,000 dollars (41%) and holiday at their dream destination (28%).
Phones have become become a need, a necessity, or even a must for many people. There is even a new word created from the combinations of the words ‘no’, ‘mobile’, ‘phone’ and ‘phobia’, which is “Nomophobia”!
It is to describe the fretful feelings of losing or staying away from the mobile phone.
Are you a nomophobe? The term was invented in 2008 by YouGov, a research organisation based in the United Kingdom. A study reported 53% of users were fretful to be apart from their phones and more than 50% users never turn their phone off during that time.
When was the last time you turned off your phone?
We tend to be carried away by our phone most of the times because we have so many to check and stay engaged with others in a day. Are you aware that you are checking your social media every now and then? It just happens unconsciously. Sadly, we stopped smiling and talking with new people around us. Not to mention how people highly depends on dating applications, but neglect those who just beside us. Do our parents or grandparents use the dating application to search for their spouse?
Smartphones might be getting smarter, but we are not. According to Kaspersky Lab, many users are suffering from digital amnesia. It meant that they are highly dependent on the device rather than their memory. As an example, you are not able to contact anyone without your phones because you will never remember the contact details. Or, you just stop using your brain memory, but to extend the phone memory to store the important information. But, don’t worry. You are definitely not alone!
However, smartphones do have many positive impacts on business, communication, education and health. You are able to stay connected with your friends and family apart whenever you go. The booming of smartphone usages also created many opportunities for freelancers, new start-ups and SME to penetrate the market, reach out to their potential customers and connect with their regular customers easily through text messages, websites, or the social media.
In addition, you can always learn new skills easily with your smartphones and receive the latest information using tools like distance learning. We even can use smartphones to track our physical activities and food intake with specially developed applications. So, we can always get a better insight into our fitness level and discover different ways to improve ourselves.
We cannot deny that a smartphone does bring us excitement and joy by capturing the moment for memories. It also helps us to connect with our loved ones always. Hence, we need to learn in striking the balance within the positive influences and negative consequences of using smartphones in our daily life.
Always remember that “Moderation is a wiser policy than zealotry”
– Christopher Paolini, Brisingr.