Research Warns of the Emotional Baggage Of Owning a Smartphone

Man on phone high streetPeople are growing increasingly emotionally attached to their smartphones, claims a study by researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.

The team behind the paper surveyed 205 smartphone users between the ages of 16 and 64, from a range of countries including the UK, China, Canada, Peru and the USA. They found that people become emotionally dependent on their smartphone, or at least on the connectivity and functions that it facilitates.

The team suggest that the ease with which smartphones can be used, the need to keep them close, the networks they connect to and the time spent interacting with apps can all bring emotional baggage to ownership.

“Today it is considered the norm for people to repeatedly and distractedly check their phones, not for missed calls, but for the countless notifications that social sites, apps and other software spit out at them via that touchscreen,” said Dr Tom Page, one of the authors of the paper.

“In some circles – teenagers, journalists, business users and other professionals – it is even considered something of a social faux pas, a sign of being inept not to have a constant connection with the outside world via ones smart phone regardless of the circumstances one finds oneself at any given time.”