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Unplugged: A Smartphone Detox

Unplugged: A SMARTPHONE DETOX HOW SMARTPHONES GET US HOOKED NOMOPHOBIА no-mobile-phobia: fear of going without your phone How anxious are they? Could you be addicted to your smartphone? In a UK study, ! %3D 53% It was as stressful as a trip to the of people had anxiety when they couldn't use their phones. dentist or even their own wedding day. WHAT CAUSES THIS COMPULSION? Smartphones take computer and internet addiction and make them mobile – addicts aren't chained to Internet addicts, like nicotine their desks anymore. addicts, are more likely to have an altered CHRNA4 gene. This changes a type of receptor in their brain, making them more sensitive to the addictive "rewards"of using Facebook and Twitter. THE PERCEPTION OF SMARTPHONE ADDICTION We surveyed more than 800 smartphone owners around the world to see how they felt about smartphone usage and addiction. Send a message SEND 71% 57% know a friend or family member who might be worry their smartphone usage 52% addicted to his or her will increase over smartphone time believe they have a smartphone addiction 84% think smartphone addiction exists 45% say they use their smartphones at least once every hour We asked: How concerned are you about smartphone addiction in general? 16% 36% Not at all concerned Very concerned 26% . 22% Somewhat concerned Concerned What about if 61% 44% 19% they didn't have a smartphone for a week? said they couldn't go without it for that long said they'd give it up for a week if they were paid more than $100 said they'd need more than $500 We decided to use a weeklong span for our case studies on what actually happens when you don't have a smartphone for seven days. THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: ONE WEEK OF SMARTPHONE WITHDRAWAL • Our brains are elastic – they can be rewired. With practice, we can rebuild our attention spans: Dementia Lack of focus Disrupted attention Brain symptoms such as dementia, lack of focus, and disrupted attention can be reversible. In a study at the Gazzaley Lab at UCSF, people aged 20 to 85 improved their short-term memory and ability to stay on task by with NeuroRacer, a specially ned video game. SDAY 66% %24 Can we untrain our brains from craving the constant overstimulation of smartphones? 66% SAY THEY CAN'T GO WITHOUT THEIR SMARTPHONES FOR A DAY INOS UNDAY BUT WHAT IF THEY GAVE UP THEIR PHONES...FOR A WHOLE WEEK? MON TUE WED We asked 7 people to stop using their smartphones UN TUE WED TH for a week, except in emergencies. ON TUE V SAT SUN They were asked to record :(:\:0 Each impulse to How much •......... use their phones inconvenience, Why they The emotions they frustration, and anxiety they experienced wanted to use felt about this their phones How much time it cost them when they couldn't use their phones KICKING THE SMARTPHONE HABIT We separated our subjects' experiences by whether they wanted to use a smartphone function, like Facebook or email, or just a general phone feature like calling or texting. Then we compared their frustration and anxiety: GENERAL PHONE USAGE INSTANCES OF ΑΝΧΙΕΤΥ INSTANCES OF FRUSTRATION 66 66 instances of mild anxiety instances of mild frustration 25 31 instances of instances of moderate anxiety moderate frustration 11 instances of 16 high anxiety instances of high frustration SMARTPHONE-SPECIFIC USAGES INSTANCES OF ANXIETY INSTANCES OF FRUSTRATION 92 instances of mild frustration 45 instances of mild anxiety 7 21 instances of instances of moderate anxiety moderate frustration 5 instances of high frustration instances of high anxiety Frustration and anxiety were usually mild: Most of the time when they couldn't use their phones, it likely wasn't for anything too important. People had more mild frustration (a 39% increase) when they couldn't use smartphone-specific functions, suggesting they're very used to checking their email or social networks whenever they like. bye! Analysis But they also had 79% more instances of anxiety when they couldn't use their phones to call or text, suggesting the need to stay in touch was still more important than apps. WEEKLONG TRENDS All of our participants' responses were combined each day to find the ratio of times when they were inconvenienced (or anxious, or frustrated) to the times when they weren't. Daily levels of inconvenience People's need for their phones never let up; their phones' absence remained inconvenient and anxiety-inducing. Inconvenience and anxiety levels Inconvenience peaked at didn't change much before and after the experiment. 7.0 by midweek. Inconvenience stood at 2.5 on Monday and 3 on Sunday. Anxiety levels started at 1.38 and ended at 2.18. THU 7 SAT TUE 4.2 3.6 FRI SUN Inconv /Conv MON WED 2.75 Ratio 2.5 1.7 However, frustration declined steeply, from 3.31 on Monday to 1.5 by week's end. This suggests that people could get used to going without their phones. COMPARISON OF INCONVENIENCE, FRUSTRATION, AND ANXIETY OVER 7 DAYS For each day of the study, participant responses were combined and compared. We created a ratio that describes the degree of emotion felt: feelings of frustration or anxiety/no feelings at all. As the ratio increases, the degree of emotion felt also increases. Inconv/Conv Ratio Frustration Ratio Anxiety Ratio MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN 2.5 3.9 1.7 7 2.7 4.2 3.3 4 5 • 0.7 7.2 1.5 1.3 1.0 1.4 0.4 0.6 0.9 2.1 WHAT SUBJECTS HAD TO SAY "[I] would just turn to my "Overall, I've actually really enjoyed my time not using my smartphone - it's kind of like a detox for me. It felt technology to distract me, but I didn't have that option...I was really good not to feel like I was on call at all times. It felt good not to have to respond right away." forced to have a conversation. I think in the long run this is benefiting me." -Valene -Niko "I was forced to do the "Someone else is using their phone -I should check and see my phone! This is when I'm realizing it's the only time I need it or go for it – if someone else is healthier thing and just enjoy what I was doing that minute." -Kelsey doing it – it's usually in a very reactionary mode." -Niko CONCLUSIONS Chemical processes reward us and encourage us to check our phones even more often, People have become so connected to their phones that they truly fear losing them. For a growing number, this has become a real, debilitating addiction. destroying our attention spans. But this is reversible. Over a week of smartphone withdrawal, our subjects Many also reported deriving benefits from their phones being inaccessible, finding time to focus on other things. were more anxious when they simply couldn't make calls or texts. Going without smartphone features, like maps and web search, was merely frustrating. CALLS AND TEXTS ARE STILL CRUCIAL TO KEEPING US CONNECTED, BUT OUR SUBJECTS COULD ENDURE THE LACK OF SMARTPHONE FEATURES. WE'VE ALL GONE WITHOUT SMARTPHONES BEFORE, AND WE CAN BREAK THE HABIT ONCE AGAIN. frontrange The HEAT is on SATURDA ESDAT ERRES SDAY ESDAY TUESDAY WEDNES

Unplugged: A Smartphone Detox

shared by jrearick on Jan 04
We asked 7 smartphone users to go without their phones for a week...




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