Smartphones were created to provide convenience, but they are slowly becoming detrimental as users become increasingly dependent on them. A research study on smartphone users revealed that 79% of these individuals have their devices with them for all but two of their waking hours. This attachment is even more prevalent among adolescents, who use their smartphones as an adaptive mechanism.
Though these devices may bring convenience and connectivity to others, constant smartphone use can harm one’s well-being by interfering with social interactions and affecting sleep quality. As such, users need to have a greater awareness of the growing issue of smartphone dependence.
Why are users becoming dependent on smartphones?
There are currently more than 6 billion smartphone users worldwide, which means that about 80% of the world’s population uses these devices. Smartphones have slowly become necessities in the digital age because they serve as a tool in maintaining human relationships, allowing users to meet their need to connect with others. These gadgets enable people to text, call, and video chat with others whenever and wherever they are. But this accessibility pressures people to become increasingly responsive and, consequently, attached to their phones at all times.
Now that technology is advancing, users are becoming even more addicted to their smartphones. A review on smartphone dependency stated that users are starting to feel anxiety, discomfort, and nervousness when they do not have their devices in hand at all times. The research revealed that individuals may feel this way because they are more comfortable with online and text messaging, compared to face-to-face interactions.
Meanwhile, another research study pointed out that some users experience negative emotions because the lack of connectivity could affect their online identity or keep them “out of the loop” on social media. Though smartphone dependency is a complicated matter that affects people differently, one’s desire to remain connected is a huge factor in driving this addiction.
Smartphones are getting more advanced—and more addicting
These devices are already addicting due to the applications they support. However, the risk for smartphone dependency may further increase now that smartphones are becoming more advanced. To illustrate, our forecast on the latest information technology trends emphasizes that social media networks allow people to stay connected online.
Recognizing the growing amount of online users, one can expect more social media platforms to be launched in an attempt to meet user demand. This provides plenty of convenience to individuals who want to remain connected with their family and friends. However, future social media networks may also increase smartphone dependency and, consequently, cause a greater impact on user behavior.
Aside from the onset of potentially addicting applications, smartphones are also getting new features that may increase the dependency of users. Manufacturers are racing to launch various smartphone models that can run advanced programs over a longer battery cycle.
They are revolutionizing smartphone models by equipping them with PCBs that have component parameters that can handle multiple user needs. Through this feature, devices can be designed for the high-level usability required by innovative features. Mobile phone experts predict that these advanced features will include multi-tasking support, where users can maximize screens to stream, game, or chat, at the same time.
Aside from this, AR technology is also being developed, supporting holographic communication features that will blur the lines between reality and technology. One can only hope that these advancements will truly bring people closer and not further apart.
Smartphones can help individuals maintain their social connections and improve productivity. However, many are falling into the trap of smartphone dependence due to the comfort and accessibility that these devices offer in social connections. As technology further advances, it’s important that individuals learn to balance real-life social interactions with their smartphone usage.