Story by Corbin Sorenson
Since the 90s, cellphones have steadily become more and more prevalent in our lives. They were a milestone in communication and in the last few years have become so much more. Smartphones have revolutionized the way we interact with technology as well as each other. Calling, texting, video chat apps and social media have made communication easier and faster than ever. But with all the positives that come from these new forms of interaction, is there a point where it becomes too much?
In a Pew Research Center study in 2014, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. own a smartphone and 19 percent say that their access to the World Wide Web is limited without their phones. Along with that information, Pew reported that about 26 percent of Smartphone owners have had to cancel or suspend their service because of the financial hardships. But, that statistic also includes households that are low-income rather than just those that spend too much on their phone service. A survey was conducted here at BYU-Idaho earlier this year to get a better idea of the kind of usage that goes on, particularly in young adults and college students.
From this study, it was discovered that 99 percent of BYU-I students believe that our generation is addicted to their phones, and 51 percent would consider themselves addicted to their phones. As long as these numbers fairly reflect the student population, that’s more than half of the students on this campus that readily admit to being addicted to their phones.
Other shocking results of this study revealed that 62 percent of students use their phones in class for entertainment rather than for classroom purposes and 21 percent admitted to this being a common occurrence. 49 percent of students admitted to checking their phones while driving and 38 percent a said that they will respond even if they are driving. There was also 70 percent of students that admitted to faking a phone call in order to avoid somebody in person.
So yes, smartphones have become an integral part of our lives, and yes, there are cases where cellphone addiction may be a very real thing. So pay attention to how much time you spend on your phone, and you might find yourself on it more than you thought.