Wait…there’s an app for that!

A few years ago, I was the proud owner of a Blackberry. I thought it was the greatest little “smartphone.”  Unfortunately, it was stolen. I lost photos and phone numbers. But I replaced it with an Android phone. This phone was even better. The camera quality was phenomenal and the phone features were great! I didn’t think it could get any better.  Then I purchased an iPhone.

Sigh….

The iPhone, iPad….Apple has managed to create an exclusive product that allows all Apple devices to work together. It’s amazing!  There’s an app for just about everything. There’s an app to help you sleep, hypnosis to stop nail biting, workout apps, meal planning apps, etc.  This phone is more than a phone, it’s my alarm clock, my radio, my newscasts. Oh my goodness, I need my phone. Can you be addicted to a phone? Is it considered a necessity? Hmmm.

Do I have a problem? The first step is admitting it. So I took to the internet and behold. An app that tracks the number of times you check your phone.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a30063/new-app-tracks-times-you-check-your-phone/   

According to the article, the app is designed to help you decrease the number of times you unlock your phone or check it. In my opinion, it will take more than an app to take the focus away from our phones.

Is the phone addiction becoming a “pandemic”? If we use apps for almost every aspect of our lives, how can we start depending less on our phones (tablets) and relying more on ourselves?

 

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10 thoughts on “Wait…there’s an app for that!

  1. It would be interesting to find out how this addiction, because I do believe it exist even if we don’t admit it, affects our family circles. I see it everytime we have a family gathering, half of the people around the kitchen (we are 16 adults all together) are looking down on their phones. And if it weren’t for my intercepting the kids iPads and phone the kids would all be hunched over their devices as well. It’s sad.

  2. That app is an interesting development; I hadn’t heard of that yet! I think it would only help to break an addiction for people purposely trying to do so. If you say “I’m on my phone too much, I need to change this”, then it gives you a way to measure whether you’re making progress or not as you put forth a conscious effort. For people that have grown up using smart phones or are glued to them for work, they may not care to break the habit. A few weeks ago I read the most accurate thing about constantly being plugged in: We aren’t allowed to be bored anymore. Which, in some instances is a bad thing….some of our best creative moments come when our minds wander.

  3. The term addiction is often misused, but the psychological effects of cell phone use are being researched. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health uses the 4Cs to simply define addiction: craving, loss of control of amount or frequency of use, compulsion to use and use despite consequences (see http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/drug-use-addiction/Pages/addiction.aspx)

    In one study out of the University of Missouri last year (see http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2015/0108-iphone-separation-linked-to-physiological-anxiety-poor-cognitive-performance-mu-study-finds/), researchers found that “cell phone separation can have serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests.” They suggest iPhone users keep their cell phones with them whenever they need to concentrate to avoid the distraction of not having it.

    Another study released just a few days ago from the University of Illinois (see https://news.illinois.edu/blog/view/6367/334240) found that addiction to mobile technology (but not simple use of mobile devices) is linked to anxiety and depression in post-secondary school students.

    As with all things in life, moderation is key.

  4. I love the fact that there is an App for this! I think it is insane how much I now depend on my phone, but at the same time I think their are worse addictions to have, and this one seems like an okay addiction to have. Grant you I think it is crazy when all of my friends and I are together and we are on our phones, so we have made it (and I myself do this) that if I am out and about with people, my phone is away! And I call my friends out on it too, I will make the joke, ooo who is more interesting then me? if you want go and hang out with them, because I am not interested in speaking with you when you are staring at your phone. I think we all just need to make that decision to be more involved in our present day, and less on the phone and the apps it creates.

  5. I admit I am an iPhone addict. It is never too far from me and my husband often makes a comment about the fact that I am always on it. But to be fair it is more than just a phone..it is my alarm clock, my calorie and exercise tracker, my communication tool for work (I tweet, and post to facebook on my work channels), my news source, my agenda, as well as my entertainment.

    I expect i won’t be in a hurry to download an app to track my usage – because the truth is that I probably don’t want to know! (insert bashful, ashamed emoticon here!)

  6. Yes! This is so on point. Would I get this app- unlikely, seeing I do not want to see the amount I check my devices in a day. We did instil a rule at our house- no TV and no devices at the dinner table. I still get reprimanded at time. I do have a problem. And I am missing out on my kids while catching up on the latest social media posts.

  7. I am afraid that – yes – we are all becoming more and more dependant on our smartphones. Facebook has recognized this and that is why they have adopted a mobile first strategy moving forward.

    The big question, in my opinion, is whether or not this increased dependance, will have better or worse outcomes over time. Would likely make for a great long term anthropological study!

  8. I only started using apps after I purchased my first iPhone in 2014. Luckily for me I bought an older, low-end iPhone model with minimal storage capacity that can only support a handful of apps at a time because I do see how I could quickly become dependent on them. Rather than upgrade my phone, I use its limitations as an excuse to keep reviewing the utility of the apps that I retain.

    What I find incredible is the rate at which new apps continue to be produced – as if there remain critical functional gaps in our lives that can only be filled by these software applications! I just checked http://www.statista.com – “The Statistical Portal” – for data on mobile app usage, and despite the fact that only about 10% of mobile app downloads are paid (as opposed to free), global mobile app revenues amounted to 41.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 (see http://www.statista.com/statistics/269025/worldwide-mobile-app-revenue-forecast/). Although that suggests that market needs are being fulfilled somehow – and translates into a considerable profit for app developers – to your point, I do wonder if we will all look back one day on the overall amount of human time and effort put into app development and consider it as time well spent?

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