“Get Off of That Phone!”

Since the release of the first ever Apple iPhone in 2007, the number of young adults with a smartphone or laptop has increased exponentially. According to the Pew Research Centre ‘85% of young adults own a smartphone’. A seemingly shocking figure, especially when paired with the noticeable decrease in time people spend with each other these days. Already notorious for being anti-social, teenaged youths are getting criticized for their heavy dependency on their phones, but, studies conducted by Pew Research shows that in fact, young adults are ‘incorporating their mobile devices into a host of information seeking and transactional behaviors’. Having a portable, handy device not only allows youths to be connected to each other, but to the world. They have a portal to the whole world at their fingertips. 68% of smartphone users admitted to ‘frequently’ using their device to stay up-t-date regarding current events on a global, national and community-wide scale.

However, on the other side, there are many instances of smartphone use turning into a smartphone addiction, to the point of there being rehabilitation programmes being developed in order to treat those with these addictions. Hyuanna Kim attempts to suggest the prospect of using exercise rehabilitation programmes in Korea to enable smartphone addicts to break free of the shackles placed by their addiction. She states that the percentage of 67.6% ‘as the world’s #1 in June 2013’. Due to the craze of a game created in 2010 called ‘Anypang Game’, the figures showed that the number of the people playing that game on a daily basis was 10 million, which meant that ‘almost every person with a smart phone played the Anypang Game’. Kim further talks about how people had started forming attachments and sentiments with their phone, which led to feelings of ‘isolation’, ‘psychological anxiety’ and ‘loneliness’ when they were separated with their phones. This suggests that people are now possibly relying more on their phones than trying to seek out authentic and meaningful relationships with real people.

There are some positives of a “smartphone addiction”, one of them being the increase in time saved commuting due to very high-class GPS apps such as Waze being built which suggest the most efficient route to take in order to save time and make the most of your journey. Furthermore, there has been an increase in productivity, with an increase in texts and e-mails being used, responses are much faster and decisions can be made much more quickly. According to Business News Daily ‘on average, those smartphone users estimate app usage amounts to 88 minutes of time saved a day or 22 days of free time a year’. These figures show that there is in fact a positive to the increase use of smartphones, however, too much of anything is chaotic and can have very adverse effects to human behaviour.

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