My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to deal with Smartphone Addiction as Wearables trend indicates it is getting worse

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How to deal with Smartphone Addiction as Wearables trend indicates it is getting worse

Nomophobia literally means a fear of being without your smartphone.

I personally do not own a smartphone nor do I ever plan to, as I dislike their poor battery life and the fact that they can be used to track you as pointed out in my blog article entitled “The Reason why I don't like Smartphones - Location Privacy and How to disable Location Services on Android and iOS”. 

Google Logo

Worse, some of the smartphone Apps can be used by the NSA (National Security Agency) to spy on you as explained in my blog article entitled “NSA and Five Eyes Alliance in Project Irritant Horn Spying on Arab Spring Jihadists”.

But those around me that do, especially when I am on the campus of the MICO College University, do not seem to be any smarter because they have one.

For those of you that follow my checkered writing history on the Geezam blog, you might recall an article I did about Online Student Assistance website StudyBlue claiming that smartphone usage made College Students smarter as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “StudyBlue reveals Smartphones, Tablets make you smarter – The Big Bang Theory on Google”.  

However, that is College Students; based on my personal observations, it has the reverse effect on High School and Primary school students, as they seem more distracted by their smartphones.

Smartphones and High School Students – FOMO distraction from learning in High School

This as they do not use their smartphones for Googleing information, but mainly for hanging out on Social Media Websites, That 70’s Show Style as per the analysis in my Geezam blog article entitled “American Middle-Income Millennial Minorities love Mobile Internet”.  

Then again, I don't blame them; most smartphone screens are small and doing a Google search on an Android browser is difficult on such a tiny, cramped Screen. Also, most of the website found is not optimized for the smaller screen size.

Google Logo

This forced Google to take action and penalize websites that are not optimized for smartphone and Tablet form factors as noted in my blog article entitled “@Google wants smartphone-friendly Websites - Pricier Sponsored Search Results Prices for Small Business's Shopaholics”. 

But can this obsessive usage of smartphones to access Social Media websites, mainly to avoid the FOMO as explained in my blog article entitled “@Facebook vs Mobile Social Networks - @globalwebindex says Mobile Social Networks are for Private Groups of Friends  be likened to an addition”?

Also, with wearables now the latest craze being snapped up by Americans and Jamaicans obsessed with staying fit as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Analyst IDC logs Wearables Profitable in Q1 2015 Fitness Tracker Business” the question begs; are we becoming a society addicted to our wearables as well?

How to deal with Smartphone Addiction – Trend towards Wearables indicates Smartphone Addiction getting worse

In some ways it can, if the Infographic from the website Top Counselling Schools can be believed, the signs of Smartphone addiction are all around us:

1.      Constant usage, even in social situations
2.      Euphoric feeling when text, email or call comes in
3.      Feeling guilty about phone usage
4.      Panic when phone is misplaced
5.      Physical discomfort, like wrist or neck pain
6.      Trouble in school or at work
7.      Using phone right before sleep and right after waking

So how exactly does it feel for someone addicted to their smartphone when they can't locate their Precious, Lord of the Rings Style? Based on the survey done by Top Counselling Schools, this is what they’re going through:

1.      73% feel panicked
2.      14% feel desperate
3.      7% feel sick
4.      6% feel relieved

I can believe this to be true, based on my observation of my female counterparts at the MICO College University. But the Top Counselling Schools revealed some more disturbing trends about American adults between the ages of 18-34 and their unhealthy relationship with their smartphones that may also ring true for Jamaicans:

1.      20% or 1 in 5 adults use their smartphone during sex 
2.      72% stay within 5" of the smartphones at all times
3.      50% of Professional workers check their smartphones continuously during vacation

This seems set to get worse. According to the stats on the Top Counselling Schools infographic on smartphone spread for US Adults between the ages of 18-34:

1.      6 in 10 U.S. adults own a smartphone
2.      220 million Americans will own a smartphone by 2018
3.      2 billion global smartphone users by 2016 

These stats seems spot on when compared to the stats for the performance of Google Android and their various Google Products as  revealed by the keynote speakers at Google I/O 2015 as explained in my blog article entitled “Google IO Statistics - A Future Past of Growing Strong for All of Android's Children and a Future with Google ATAP Projects”.

How to unplug from your Precious – Wearables yet another reason not to be 5 feet from your smartphone

So what can you do if you're addicted to your smartphone? Again, Top Counselling Schools seems to have some fairly good suggestions:

1.      Be aware of what triggers you to grab your phone
2.      See a counselor at technology-addiction facility
3.      Talk more to people
4.      Once a month, go Commando without your smartphone for an entire day or weekend
5.      Place your phone in the next room while you sleep
6.      Set rules about when, where, how and why you use your smartphone
7.      Turn off your ringer and set it to vibrate
8.      Unplug for 30 minutes

I personally would recommend just tying it to a brick and throwing it over the Milk River Bridge here in Clarendon.

Then again, with Wearable devices such as  US$13 Mi Band Fitness Monitor from smartphone maker Xiaomi set to become popular in the Caribbean as predicted in my blog article entitled “IDC Stats for Wearables in the First Quarter of 2015 - US$13 Mi Band Fitness Monitor Xiaomi No. 2 as Apple Watch to dominate Smartwatch segment by Q4 2015”, Jamaicans, like our healthy-lifestyle obsessed Americans counterparts may have YET ANOTHER excuse as to why they cannot be more than five feet away from their precious.

Here’s the link:

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