Smartphones are becoming what appears to be a necessity for more and more people here in Syracuse. And as we see more and more people here obsessively checking for messages on their smartphones even on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the park instead of spending more time enjoying the sunshine at such beautiful naturally healthy places as Onondaga Lake Park what is worrying some people here is that Smartphones are becoming an unhealthy addiction.
Robert Preidt has reported for HealthDay “Smartphones Really Are Habit-Forming: Study”. This study has been published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. It has been confirmed by a new study that many smartphone users obsessively check their devices for e-mails, social media and news. The researchers for this study analyzed the habits of smartphone users in the United States and Finland, and discovered they checked their smartphone devices throughout their waking hours.
The form of habits the researchers identified has been called a checking habit: which is “a brief, repetitive inspection of dynamic content quickly accessible on the device.” This study also discovered that most smartphone use consists solely of checking something out and that this checking does not occur randomly. Checking things out is generally triggered by certain contexts such as reading e-mail when commuting or checking news when bored.
The researchers found that smartphone users did not regard the repetitive and obsessive use of their devices as an addiction. They instead described it in terms of overuse and as an annoyance. Antti Oulasvirta, one of the researchers, said “What concerns us here is that if your habitual response to, say, boredom, is that you pick up the phone to find interesting stimuli, you will be systematically distracted from the more important things happening around you.”
Oulasvirta has said that habits are made up of automatically triggered behaviors which compromise the more conscious control which certain situations require. And Oulasvirta has commented “Studies are already starting to associate smartphone use to dire consequences like driving accidents and poor work-life balance. Unfortunately, as decades of work in psychology shows, habits are not easy to change.”
It appears reasonable to also conjecture that obsessive use of smartphones may be taking away from time which could be spent exercising and relaxing which everyone needs to stay naturally healthy. Recognizing the need to balance your needs to do naturally healthy things in life like enjoying a walk in the park against the need for smartphone use may be a good idea.
Photographer: Idea go
Mandel News Service