The alarming rise of smartphone addiction and its effects
Try sitting idle for a few minutes, without thinking about reaching for your phone. Yes, it is extremely difficult to do so and our hand will invariably crawl towards our phone. Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Day by day, they are taking over more of our daily tasks, thereby increasing our dependence on them. The situation has escalated to such extremes that we now feel handicapped without our smartphones.
A Global Mobile Consumer survey conducted by Deloitte in 2015 found that 78% of the smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up, as a reflexive action. Similarly, about 52% of people check in to view notifications on their phones before sleeping.
This ritualistic action is the result of easy access to smooth Internet services, along with a plethora of convenient applications. Among these, instant messaging and social media networking are apps every smartphone user frequents, with a check-in average of 25 to 30 times a day. This time-consuming trend is here to stay, with 17% of users checking their phones around 51 to 100 times a day.
Telecommunication, Mobile Banking and E-commerce Emergence
As Indian smartphone users while their time away, telecom and e-commerce companies are increasingly cashing in on this profitable trend. Indian telecom companies have already introduced new 4G Internet plans all across the country for faster connections. The Deloitte survey also revealed that within the next 12 months, every smartphone user in India would have subscribed to 4G Internet.
E-commerce and other businesses are shifting their focus too. Most of them now advertise and communicate with their customers using various networks on the internet. This provides them with real-time feedback making it easier for them to conduct conversations with consumers and tackle issues.
Moreover, people are choosing efficient mobile banking options and applications over the recalcitrant and crowded manual banking procedures. The above-mentioned survey determined that 71% of users were willing to try in-store mobile payment, while 54% were open to money transfers over a smartphone. However, the security of such transactions continues to be a point of scepticism for many.
Distractions from Smartphone Addiction
There has been a regretful rise in accidents caused due to distracted driving. Many people choose to take calls, text or even use other applications, while driving. In doing so, they endanger not only themselves and the passengers, but also the pedestrians around. Unfortunately, this results in 1.2 million deaths globally, according to media sources.
The fact that our days begin and end with checking our phones instils a sense of foreboding for the future. Social media networks and messaging are disrupting the efficiency of our daily time management, which is vital in today’s competitive scenario. They divert our attention from more important daily chores, leading to procrastination. This in turn causes stress from last minute assignments along with strained personal relationships due to lack of time.