1 in 3 Are Addicted to Smartphones

SmartphonesWe live in a plugged-in frenetic smartphones society. We “Check-in” on Facebook, to announce to the world that we have arrived at our destinations, be it the barbershop or a concert. And while we are there we are never really in the moment. Every new experience must be immediately recorded and shared with the world using the technology on our smartphones. If it’s not on Facebook, maybe it never happened. We are also slaves to our smartphone devices in the workplace. How many of you have witnessed a colleague unceremoniously leave an important meeting to take a call? And when at home, our smartphone never leaves our side, even during family dinners. Well, our addiction may be much worse than anyone thought.

A new survey found that smartphone addiction is even interfering with our ability to get a good night’s sleep. According to the survey, one of every three mobile workers admitted to waking throughout the night to check their smartphone devices for new emails or text messages. Nearly fifty percent of those surveyed said, they wouldn’t even think of going to sleep without their smartphones tucked securely at their side. At what point does being plugged in become bugged out?

The survey was ironically conducted by iPass, a California-based company that specializes in providing round the clock connectivity in the enterprise mobility market. The company’s own survey reveals the consequences of too much of a good thing: the absence of true downtime, diminished performance from lack of sleep and broken relationships.

The survey’s findings regarding a mobile worker’s preference for a smartphone device as a nighttime companion are truly startling:

  • 43 percent of mobile workers store their smartphone within arm’s reach when they sleep at night. Those that do this are 60 percent more likely than average to wake during the night to check their smartphone.
  • Those living in Asia Pacific are the least rested with 55 percent of mobile workers waking at least occasionally to check their smartphone or tablet, and 19 percent wake every night. Europeans are the most rested with only 27 percent waking at least occasionally, and 4 percent waking every night.
  • 29 percent of mobile workers find that their mobile technology usage causes friction in their personal relationships, specifically with their significant other or spouse.
  • When mobile workers wake up in the morning, 35 percent check email before anything else, including getting dressed or eating breakfast.

The survey further found that although 80 percent of respondents agreed that interrupting a meeting to take a call or respond to a text is rude, more than 40 percent admitted to doing it themselves.

What has happened to our social boundaries? And in today’s plugged-in environment, do we ever really stop working? Just because we have the ability to stay connected, 24/7 doesn’t mean that we should, or that it’s healthy, or even ultimately productive.

If we can’t sleep through the night without reaching out and touching our smartphones, and our addiction is causing friction in your personal relationships, maybe it’s time to reassess our social and workplace boundaries. We all need downtime to relax and recharge our batteries. Without it, we are just slaves to the machines.

Do you have smartphones addiction story to share with? Pleas leave your comments below.

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  1. Sharon

    Love my iPhone. Have kidded that if need be, I’d stand on street corner with sign: “Will work for iPhone.”

    1. Douglas Idugboe

      @d28ed5a288d7a2d37ae56ed2129d67ea:disqus , a lot of people feel the same way 🙂 A guy just responded on Twitter saying, “the 2 of 3 that are not addicted don’t have smartphones!” ;-))

  2. Wendy

    Yup, I’m one of the addicted.  Feel lost and panicked when I don’t know where it is. 

  3. @scottlara1961

    I totally agree with this story! I have withdrawl symtoms when I go on cruises! Scott Lara @scottlara1961 on Twitter

  4. Brian

    I agree with this article. It used to be that you felt “naked” without your watch. Now it’s the phone. We can do everything from pay our coffee tab, electric bill, and turn off our lights with our smartphones. It is almost insane to leave your house without it.

  5. Bruce

    I completely agree and have actually written on my blog about us being addicted to work and not being able to do nothing (http://hereismy2cents.blogspot.com/2011/04/are-we-addicted-to-work.html). Although not the same line as this article – the concept is identical.

    Good work!

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    Haha, ::clears throat:: no comment.

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