In a world where one’s whole life revolves around an online presence, phones have become an accessory organ of the new human body. According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, 3.3 billion people, or forty-three percent of the world population, has a smartphone. But how attached is modern society to this new addition?
Smartphones come with many perks, such as staying connected with friends and family, having endless information at your fingertips and making life easier in general. However, smartphone usage has its pitfalls.
As the use of smartphones spreads, a major issue has surfaced: people seemingly cannot live without their phone anymore. From the moment we wake up to when we fall asleep, our phones are right by our sides through it all.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that “42% of American teenagers report feeling ‘anxious’ when they’re away from their cell phones.” Additionally, it was found that “44% of teenagers said that they often look at their phone to see messages as soon as they wake up.”
Merriam Webster defines addiction as “a compulsive, chronic need for [something that has] harmful physical, psychological, or social effects… typically causes well-defined symptoms-such as anxiety or irritability- upon abstinence.” Teenagers being unable to go a few minutes without touching their phones is an addiction.
In a survey of NDP students, forty-seven percent reported that they have an addiction to their phones. Most students who felt that they were addicted to their phones related this addiction to social media.
“My Snap score [the amount of messages one has received and sent on Snapchat] is over 1,000,000… I feel like a loser but I can’t stop snapping people back,” said NDP senior Lily Dee.
Dee is not the only NDP student who feels the pull of social media. Snapchat, Dee’s social media of choice, was the top ranked social media app used among students, followed by Tik Tok and Instagram, and most other phone addicts mirrored Dee’s inability to part with her phone.
“It is hard to stay away because when I get notifications for my social media I immediately get the urge to check,” said NDP senior Kaitlyn Madrigal. “No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop myself,” said Madrigal. With the perks of social media, such as staying connected and interacting with others still present, Madrigal believes that social media addiction is not a trend that will die out.
Despite many students admitting to having a phone addiction, forty-three percent of students reported that they do not feel addicted. Many said, “[they] use social media to connect with friends,” but can live without their phone.
A common trend among most teenagers, phone addiction is prevalent wherever one goes; however, it is not an issue without a solution, and some students have maneuvered around this phenomena. With smartphones infinitely increasing in popularity, only time can tell how far this addiction will go.