-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new study seems to
confirm the widely held belief that many smartphone users
obsessively check their devices for e-mails, social media and
Researchers analyzed the habits of smartphone users in the
United States and Finland, and found that they checked their
devices throughout their waking hours. A typical check lasts less
than 30 seconds and involves opening the screen lock and accessing
a single application.
The study also found that most smartphone use consists solely of
checking and that checking does not occur randomly, but is
triggered by certain contexts such as reading e-mail when commuting
or tracking news while bored.
Smartphone users didn't regard repetitive and obsessive use of
their devices as an addiction, but did describe it in terms of
overuse and as an annoyance, 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," Antti Oulasvirta, of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, said in an Aalto University news release.
Habits are automatically triggered behaviors that compromise the
more conscious control certain situations require, Oulasvirta said.
"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," she added.
The study was recently published in the journal
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.
The authors said the habit-forming nature of the devices adds to
Head to the U.S. Department of Transportation to learn about the
texting while driving.
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