Are you Addicted to your Smartphone?

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Opinion
Tags: , ,

By Becci Gould, PR Account Executive

Today Wales Online reported that new research by Ofcom has shown that smartphone ‘addiction’ is affecting the way we behave in Britain. With over a quarter of adults owning a smartphone in the UK, it has clearly become a national phenomenon but what effect has this had on the nation?

As a ‘proud’ owner of a Blackberry for over a year now, I can definitely see where they’re coming from. Research by Ofcom suggests symptoms of such an addiction include rarely switching off ones phone even when in the cinema, continuing to use ones device during social occasions such as meals, and even taking ones smartphone to the toilet!

Although I have never done the latter (admittedly anyway) , I can certainly see signs of a smartphone addiction in myself. Sadly, I rarely turn my phone off, even at night when all I receive is spam emails and junk mail. There is clearly no real reason why I refuse to switch off my blackberry when I ‘switch off’, but evidently something is preventing me from doing so – is it addiction?

A pet hate of mine is people playing with their mobile phones during social occasions, but I’m ashamed to admit my peeve is a little hypocritical. Only yesterday when out for dinner with a friend, I found myself leaving my blackberry on the table and picking up my emails and text messages as they flooded in. I even felt a pang of guilt when trying to read them but I couldn’t stop myself – a sure sign of addiction if ever I heard one!

In my defense the messages were relatively important – blood tests results from my brother who has recently been diagnosed with hepatitis for example, but it still felt rude and I can only place blame on the smartphone culture whereby we can have access to almost any form of incoming communications at any given time.

Nevertheless, although I clearly have a problem with smartphone addiction (albeit minor compared to many others

Glastonbury 2011

I’m sure!) I have to admit on a recent trip to Glastonbury, I was extremely happy to leave my precious blackberry at home and revert to an ‘old fashioned’ device. It was nice to have only a select collection of telephone numbers and therefore to receive only a limited amount of phonecalls and texts rather than an endless stream of emails where only about 1 in 50 is actually useful.

I was even a little sad when I returned to the real world and had to insert my simcard back into the all-encompassing blackberry but 6 weeks later, I once again can’t imagine being without it! This in mind, would I class myself among the 37% of adults, who refer to themselves as having ‘high addiction their smartphones? I’ll have to get back to you on that one…

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