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Have we crossed a line with smartphone addiction?

Chris_K
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Hey all,

 

This week I found a chart that's opened my eyes to just how much we're using our smartphones with some years experiencing a massive increase. With our usage today and the fact the graph shows a clear upwards trend, are we now past the point of no return? Are we well and truly addicted to our phones to the point we could never give them up?

FJ6gu3-WYAcIgbh.jpg

 

Some observations from me:

  • 2010's best phones were the iPhone 4 and some very early versions of Android smartphones - Edge & 3G connections were the best the UK had to offer, so on average we didn't spend much time on our phones
  • 2012's best phones were the iPhone 5, Nexus 4, Lumia 920 and HTC One X - all amazing phones at the time, and with the birth of 4G connectivity, our usage exploded - it was now easier than ever to get online
  • 2013's best phones were Apple's first 64-bit phone, the iPhone 5S, Google's Nexus 5, Xperia Z1 & Galaxy S4 - by now, more folk would have had a modern smartphone than not, with both app stores exploding with great games and apps
  • 2016 saw another sharp increase, but why? The iPhone that year was the iPhone 7, an incremental update, and Google took control by renaming the Nexus to the Pixel and taking full control of the hardware. Was the increase due to folk Googling about the exploding Samsung Note 7's?
  • 2020's boom in smartphone usage is an obvious one to understand... With many spending much more time at home due to the pandemic, there's only so many TV re-runs one can take before firing up Facebook to get annoyed at someone breaking the rules and having a garden party with more people than were allowed


And another thing to think about... Say a massive solar flare his Earth, wiping out most electronics, computer and communication networks - how do you think you'd react, and would you survive the apocalypse without access to your phone/internet? 


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sheepdog
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OMG NO MORE CAT VIDEOS!

WE'RE DOOMED 🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀🙀

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jonsie
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@Chris_K wrote:

Hey all,

 

This week I found a chart that's opened my eyes to just how much we're using our smartphones with some years experiencing a massive increase. With our usage today and the fact the graph shows a clear upwards trend, are we now past the point of no return? Are we well and truly addicted to our phones to the point we could never give them up?

FJ6gu3-WYAcIgbh.jpg

 

Some observations from me:

  • 2010's best phones were the iPhone 4 and some very early versions of Android smartphones - Edge & 3G connections were the best the UK had to offer, so on average we didn't spend much time on our phones
  • 2012's best phones were the iPhone 5, Nexus 4, Lumia 920 and HTC One X - all amazing phones at the time, and with the birth of 4G connectivity, our usage exploded - it was now easier than ever to get online
  • 2013's best phones were Apple's first 64-bit phone, the iPhone 5S, Google's Nexus 5, Xperia Z1 & Galaxy S4 - by now, more folk would have had a modern smartphone than not, with both app stores exploding with great games and apps
  • 2016 saw another sharp increase, but why? The iPhone that year was the iPhone 7, an incremental update, and Google took control by renaming the Nexus to the Pixel and taking full control of the hardware. Was the increase due to folk Googling about the exploding Samsung Note 7's?
  • 2020's boom in smartphone usage is an obvious one to understand... With many spending much more time at home due to the pandemic, there's only so many TV re-runs one can take before firing up Facebook to get annoyed at someone breaking the rules and having a garden party with more people than were allowed


And another thing to think about... Say a massive solar flare his Earth, wiping out most electronics, computer and communication networks - how do you think you'd react, and would you survive the apocalypse without access to your phone/internet? 


You crack me up 🤣

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pgn
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Are we well and truly addicted to our phones to the point we could never give them up?

I thought I'd share a longish article I wrote back in 2014, just to highlight the gist of @Chris_K's item - mine has a few chart references in it too, if the links still work 😖

 

Do we depend too much on the Smartphone?

 

Crystal balls Let's get the navel-gazing out of the way first: I've picked some stats from a Jan-2014 article for this introduction (referenced below). The article indicates that by the end of 2014, 1 in every 2 people will have used a mobile phone at least once a month. With 7.2 billion people on the planet in 2013 against a global mobile phone penetration figure of 4.3 billion for the same period, it looks like we've surpassed the 50% mark already!

 

Stick with me here: In 2013, 1 in 3 of those mobile phones, 1.4 billion devices, was a smartphone. This figure is set to rise, as mobile users switch to smartphones, driven by hardware price drops and the rise in prevalence of 3G and 4G networks. How many of those reading this have already been offered "free" 4G access by their provider, even though the carrier's network only supports 4G in a handful of locations across the UK?

 

Smartphone dependence How often is the smartphone used for making a phone-call? One where one person places a voice call to another person, and a two-way voice conversation actually takes place? Do you find yourself talking to your smartphone, rather than to someone on the other end of it? And worse yet, expecting the thing to talk back to you?

 

Reasons for owning a smartphone:

  •  keeping in touch - the killer definition, this one, given we can SMS, Tweet, e-mail or Facebook each other from any smartphone you care to choose
  • alarm-clock - gone is the fire-engine bell calling us from our slumber every morning, with apps like Timely claiming to bring us gently into the day by gently playing hypnotic melodies to us 30minutes before we asked to be awoken
  • calculator - mental arithmetic's gone completely out the window, it seems
  • radio - oh yes, and not just good old FM, but digital or "Internet" radio as well
  •  calendar - never forget an appointment again, should that be what keeps your candle burning
  • personal organiser - and so the lines between personal and work life blur yet again
  • word-processor - read and write, the office in your pocket or purse
  • camera - snap that elusive moment for posterity, be it a scene of carnage on a motorway, a picture of your dinner on a date or a snap of your kids at the beach
  • music player - remember the first time you got to play a cd in your car? Now the in-car entertainment system revolves around the smartphone, hooking in via cable or wirelessly using bluetooth, giving you unfettered access to every track you've ever liked...
  • e-mail - probably less and less as our lives are driven by 140-character injections of information from other messaging services like Twitter or Facebook
  • messaging - not just SMS, and e-mail's so yesterday!
  • browser - we are living with our heads in the clouds, nothing stumps us and pub quizzes have become contests more akin to "fastest finger first"
  • compass - gone are the days of being lost, with satellite navigation in our pocket, and it works at the top of Muckish mountain, Ben Nevis or mount Snowdon, and with the built-in...
  • weather-station - you can tell what the weather up there is like (although a glance upwards should tell all...)
  • portable office - sack the secretary, fire the personal assistant, use a smartphone
  • tracking device - how bad is the traffic on my route home? This cuts both ways, we know where to avoid, and our device tells the world exactly where we are, with surprisingly pin-point accuracy. Geo-caching is another use here!
  • television - those old episodes of M*A*S*H can be streamed to the telly in the living room, along with Breaking Bad or House of Cards, series that were never broadcast on the traditional television networks (yet are BAFTA nominees this year, oh yes!)
  • navigator-c.u.m-cartographer - where am I and how do I get to where I need to go? Remember the arguments with the map-reader on the journey up to Inverness for your second-cousin's wedding? Gone in a puff of smartphone logic!
  • games console - you can even get a device that lets you add an external keyboard or game console controller to your smartphone!
  • shopping - time was you'd be escorted out of the supermarket if you got caught writing down details and prices of products on the shelves... now your smartphone can snap the barcode and instantly tell you what store has said item on sale for the cheapest price. Not to mention using the smartphone to build and dispatch the list for your weekly shop to the supermarket for home-delivery!
  • ignition-key - and the need to cross the carpark in the sub-zero temperatures in those parts of the world where winter lasts months and fails to rise above -15degC has been banished as your phone starts your car before you reach it, gets the cabin warm and has you on your way as soon as you sit your backside on the nicely-warmed driver's seat!

 

In Summary: It's just too damned hard... ...to switch off!

 

Where's the proof that smartphone owners are loathe to ever switch off their devices? Only the threat of criminal action by an airline is enough to make most smartphone junkies power-off their mobile phone! The phone manufacturer even gets around this by providing an "Airplane Mode" on these insidious, near-ubiquitous devices. Sometimes the threat of legal action still does not prevent inappropriate use of these devices, as evidenced by rubberneckers who blatantly take snaps of road traffic accidents as they drive by: http://bbc.in/1jpqlDv

 

Do we depend too much on the smartphone? I leave the answer to that question as an exercise for the reader.

 

2022-02-07 17_46_11-Northamptonshire Police photograph car crash snappers - BBC News.png

Reference: http://shar.es/V0kdT

 

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pgn
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I think the time is right to add one more thing to the list of things the smartphone enables, despite it not being mentioned in a more smartphone recent usage survey than @Chris_K cites above:

  • paying for purchases - in the pub, at the supermarket, after a nice meal in a restaurant... people vaguely wave their phone at the till or at the payment terminal proffered by the server or attached to the checkout till, and the money leaves your bank account or is debited from your credit-card almost instantly.
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Oxonian
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@pgn 

That strikes me as a fraud or error risk - you are effectively trusting the person service you to have keyed in £5.00 and not £500, with the decimal point omitted.  

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pgn
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I have seen that happen, you have to remain vigilant - £700 instead of £70 because of a mistaken double-bounce on the zero. I do imagine the transaction would require a PIN at that point though, @Oxonian.

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Oxonian
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I think @pgn that you are completely correct about the need for a PIN in those circumstances, but the point that we are both making is about the need to remain vigilant at all times. Both genuine mistakes and fraud are possible but being alert and taking care will help to avoid future problems.

 

It's a similar concept to checking your change if you pay in cash !    

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