June 2018: Paper 4

Smartphones: An Invisible Addiction?

The constant evolution of technology sees everyday advancements in smartphone capabilities. Now impacting almost every aspect of our lives, they offer conveniences and efficiencies that are impossible to overlook. From advised decision making to endless communication opportunities, we explore the catalysts that form the foundations for smartphone addiction. In a world where we are so dependent on these devices we often joke about having an addiction to them, however, our research suggests that people are still oblivious to a problem that profoundly affects people of all ages around the world. With high levels of anxiety and depression being detected in children as young as 13, it’s time for solutions to be put in place. Our case study dives into the minds of students and young adults and presents an insight into their attitude towards smartphone use. These case studies include a survey, use of an app to track daily mobile phone usage and a digital detox day where participants would give up mobile phone usage for one day. Our research identifies that there is a hidden addiction with smartphones that people do not recognise or are willing to admit. Our case studies identify these issues and help show that smartphones are having a negative effect on people’s lives. With Apple now being urged to modify their OS platform to curtail excessive phone use, the prospect of tackling smartphone addiction through software itself is a hot topic amongst developers. In light of this, we provide an insight into one such platform and the potential power it possesses to counteract the problem of smartphone addiction

Keywords: addiction, smartphones, mental health, digital detox

Smartphone Addiction

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