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Smartphone Addiction

28th February 2017

It seems everyone is dead set against our technological gadgets but at the same time using them constantly.

“Isn’t it terrible how kids are using their phones all the time?” said every Facebook post about the topic.

Instead of jumping to fear-mongering, let’s at least first have a genuine and honest look at why people are spending so much time on their phones, laptops and tablets. What is it about them that makes it so hard for us to put them down?

Well for one thing, they are engaging. It’s easy to spend hours on something that grips our attention. Is this by design? If so, whose design? If you look carefully at all of the notification sounds and the design behind the most successful apps, they are clearly putting massive effort into making the thing a habit. Take games that use energy timers, for example.

They do this because it helps you to form the habit of coming back to the game every few hours to use up the energy you’ve accumulated. I try to avoid any game with one of these, as the overwhelming majority of them are trying to get you addicted. I hate seeing that in reviews on the app store as though it was a good thing. “Love this game, so addictive!” Please…

Clearly there is more going on with our devices. People are accused of being anti-social while they are on their phones, but aren’t 99% of them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger…? They are being social in a modern world, where keeping up means staying connected more often.

Personally I can see the future being a lot more interesting for how these things are going to move forward. With Facebook pushing more for video content and using live video more and more, I wouldn’t be surprised if their Oculus VR tech was planned for big things in collaboration with live video. That’s the day you see a bunch of people wearing those goofy looking headsets in a Starbucks all laughing to themselves about what virtual reality thing someone is livestreaming.

It’s gonna keep changing. The moment you get behind is the start of you being behind it forever. Not such a bad thing, but just know that it is hard to catch up once you’ve missed a revolution.



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