Are Smartphones Addictive?

As I was sitting at my desk trying to decide what to write I noticed myself checking my smartphone multiply times. Each time I checked it nothing changed other than the time. I was not receiving any new messages, so why was I constantly checking my phone? This made me think, is it possible to become addicted to using smartphones? I decided to research this and found my answer.

 First, let's take a look at what it means to be addicted to something. According to Merriam Webster, being addicted means "to devote or surrender (one's self) to something habitually or obsessively." As we already know, people can become addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and even the internet. According to Susan Davis, technology can also turn into an addiction. People like using technology, they get a high from it. The term for this is "psychoactive." So the question at hand, are people addicted to using their smartphones?

 Susan goes on the say that if it is not an addiction, it is certainly close to one. Many think it is the actual smart phone that is at risk for becoming an addiction, but it is the habits of having to check your smartphone every few minutes for updates including new messages, new tweets, new emails, new messages, and so on. This study found that people tend to look at their phones more often when they are bored like during boring class lectures. According to the Huffington Post, out of the 5,000 people that undergone the poll about smartphones, almost 85 percent said they would not be able to go a day without them. Also about half even admitted to having their phones right beside them while going to bed. 

 Also, according to Nicholas Carr, smartphones are making it harder for people to stay focused and on task. We, as smartphone users, are constantly wanting to know what is going on in the outside world or what other people are doing giving ourselves no time reflect on our own thoughts or concentrate without being disrupted. This could serve as a very big problem for people and their futures. Dr. Dale Archer states, smartphones start becoming a problem when they affect your everyday life. If you start to zone out when people are talking to you because of your phone, text while driving, receiving poor grades in school from only paying attention to your phone, or even you feel withdraw whenever you do not have your phone on hand, then maybe it is time to shut off the phone for a while.


I really enjoyed reading this blog post. My mom used to constantly yell at my sister and I for being on our phones so much because we were missing out on the world around us. Sadly, she was right. People spend so much time with their head in their phones that they miss what is really important in life. I agree that there are addicting properties to being on your smartphone; everything regarding your life lives in your phone. Emails, tweets, photos... its difficult to stay away. But then you have to ask yourself, is everyone else's life so important that I need to check social media every 10 minutes? I found this article claiming that smartphones may also be causing depression and other forms of social anxiety.
Check it out!!

As a freshman in my second week of college, this was something that caught my eye. Upon attending the Smeal freshman orientation, one of the speakers was telling us how important it is to "unplug." As he spoke, I took it with a grain of salt. However, on Wednesday night I tried studying for my first math quiz. I found myself refreshing my twitter, instagram, email, and then of course, texting. The sad thing is I knew exactly what I was doing. I felt myself not able to stop and soley focus on my math notes and homework. I can sadly admit that I am in that 85% of people who "couldn't go a day without their iPhone." As I am writing this, of course my iMessages on my Mac start popping out.. How on Earth are we supposed to avoid all of these distractions if technology keeps on moving forward?! I would say that, at times, using our phones and all of this technology is inescapable.

It's funny that Gabrielle posted that link about anxiety...Sometimes I find myslef using my phone in order to void uncomfortable situations. If I am with a new group of people or in a foreign situation I find myself texting or refreshing one of the many forms of social media. Which probably explains why some of these social disorders develop. I am using technology to avoid talking to people and interacting. Technology is just corrupting everyone and everything!!

I honestly do think our generation and the generations after us are all addicted to our smartphones. Even as I was reading this blog that you posted about the question are people addicted to smartphones mine started to buzz, and I couldn't help but look and see who I was receiving a text from. I've found it much more difficult to concentrate when my phone is next to me buzzing because I am too tempted to grab it and look to see who texted me. Whenever I go to the library or really have to cram and study for an exam I shut my phone off, it's just way too big of a distraction. I also completely agree with the post above me on how I use my phone to avoid an awkward confrontation. Like when I am standing in the elevator uncomfortably I just stare at my phone.

Amen, Amen! As I walk the sidewalks of Penn State, I cannot help but pass a student probably every 2 seconds with their face down in their cellphone. I am guilty of it just as well, but it truly is an addiction. I have heard it said that an addiction is something that you cannot go a month or so with out. I guarantee we could not go with out cellphones or computers or social networks for a month. Sometimes I wonder how our relationships with real people we deal with face to face on a daily basis would be better off. We will probably never know. "The extent of our obsession with capturing every moment instead of merely just experiencing them is highlighted in the viral short film, I Forgot My Phone."

I loved this article. I definitely feel like I cannot concentrate like I used to when I had a phone without the internet. I am sitting here trying to do homework and every five minutes I am checking my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I'm a little curious though if this more because of social media. Texting doesn't seem nearly as distracting as Twitter. I even find myself scrolling through my news feed as soon as I wake up the morning! Now that has to be an addiction! I remember going out of the country last summer and I couldn't use my phone because of roaming and I was going insane. It's pretty sad I was going crazy when I was in Mexico! Here's an article on Social Networking addiction. Let me know if you think this could possibly the cause of the addiction to a smart phone!

Thank you for this because I'm completely sure I'm addicted to my phone, and for no good reason at all! I started to notice it when I came home from school last year for breaks, when my parents would ask why I have to be glued to my phone literally 24/7. I'd like to think that in high school, we were busy all day and (weren't supposed to, at least) be on phones, but here in college we have so much more freedom to use them. I should definitely cut back on how much I use it, because I don't realize how much I do until someone points it out to me. On a lighter note, enjoy this hilarious and terrifyingly accurate BuzzFeed post about it!

This post really relates well to a lot of people in our generation. Ask any teenager, “What is the one thing you couldn’t leave your house without?” Nine times out of ten, I would bet that their reply would be their cell phone/smart phone. Its definitely easier said than done to unplug and be technology free. I agree with the above comment, in that our college environment allows us so much more freedom in our cell phone use. At my highschool, cell phone use was banned during class time. The path of technology integration in today’s society is lined with disruptions on one side and opportunities on the other. For one, the use of cell phones have greatly modernized the way society effectively communicates. Although keeping in touch seems positive, having a cell phone means people expect to reach you any time, anywhere. Much of the time, friends are texting each other constantly throughout the day. All this cell phone use can almost seem like an addiction!

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