When Sashin Singh has a few minutes to spare, he’s probably going to use them to text.
Singh said he uses his phone mostly for texting, sending short messages when he’s at work and can’t call people, and to check his Facebook wall when he’s bored.
If you ask him whether he’s addicted, he says he’s not certain. “My girlfriend thinks I am,” he said. “We usually sit in the same room but don’t speak for hours as we are both busy on one of our smart devices.”
If Singh is addicted to his phone, he’s not alone. While addiction to apps or texting is not a recognized medical condition, there have been numerous studies produced on whether the technology causes more harm than good.
A study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that teens who spend a lot of time on texting or on social media also are more likely to use drugs or alcohol and get into fights.
Using a smartphone or computer just before bed can lead to sleep loss, according to a study from the National Sleep Foundation.
But ignoring your phone can be difficult.
A recent article in the New York Times by author and brand consultant Martin Lindstrom claimed that the top three most powerful affecting sounds in the world are baby giggles, the Intel chime and a vibrating phone.
Singh confesses to feeling lost without his phone. He never turns it off.
“Even when it’s charging, it’s on,” he said. “I left it once and went home on my lunch break just to get it.Its a part of my wardrobe.”
Smartphones also can be habit-forming, according to a study by Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and Intel Labs. Researchers found that smartphone users in the United States and in Finland checked their phones repeatedly throughout the day, usually for less than 30 seconds. They observed that the checks are usually triggered by the same things: a person may always check email while commuting or the news when bored.
“It’s a boredom buster,” said Chantel Nair
She said she typically uses her smartphone truly as a phone, but the apps and texting also pose a great distraction when you’re stuck waiting for something.
Smartphones have their perks but there is a thin line between being tech-savy and being addicted.