Are You Addicted to Your Smartphone?

Smartphone use may be habit-forming, a new study says.

While study participants did not characterize their habits as addiction, frequent phone-checking behaviors “emerge and are reinforced by informational ‘rewards’ that are very quickly accessible,” researchers led by the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology say. Most such phone “checks” last 30 seconds or less, HealthDay News reported July 30.

“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,” says study co-author Antti Oulasvirta of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology.

Other recent research has found that disconnecting from the internet may make you feel lonely and that constant connectivity may be changing the way our memory works.

The study appears online in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing.

Reader Question: How many times per day do you check your smartphone?

(Photo © Phil Roeder via Flikr)