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Too attached? How important is your smartphone?

By Shannon Williams, 04 Jun 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

No matter how long we have phones or tablets, there are always new articles around the web about how much time we are spending on them.

Or how much “more” time we are spending on them, or even how we are “now” using them for this reason or that reason.

I’m pretty sure these articles appear on said websites or in newspapers because the writer was struggling for a new topic, so picked the safe and always handy “people use cell phones heaps” breakthrough.

However, I recently read an article about this very topic based on a study 2degrees and Facebook carried out, which asked smartphone users about their cell phone habits.

It stuck out to me because one of the outcomes of the study revealed that at least four in five Kiwis refused to leaved their house without their smartphone in hand, and it got me to thinking about the times I have literally turned around and returned home to pick up my phone, whether I was going to be late to work or not.

I asked a couple of my friends if they too would turn around and get their phone, and a lot of the answers depended on whether or not they used their phone for work.

I need my phone for my job, so turning around to get it is not even a question. However, a friend of mine, who is a teacher, would happily leave their phone at home because one, they wouldn’t use it, and second, their job meant they could not be late.

Further details of the survey revealed that 85% said smartphones had changed their day-to-day lives. This made me think about how much my life has changed now that I spend so much of it online.

How I talk to my friends, my colleagues, my family, how I read the newspaper and learn of current events, how I find out where something is and how to get there, how I research things like how to spell Czechoslovakia and if it’s practise or practice, has all changed. All those things have changed to the point where I don’t remember doing it any differently.

The survey revealed that Facebook was the most popular social networking site, no surprises there. What I found interesting was that 93% of those surveyed accessed Facebook using their phones.

I think this shows how much Facebook is a huge part of people’s lives, that everyone uses it on the go, all day, every day. I was surprised because I find Facebook utterly boring, which is a really stupid thing to say considering I check it several times a day, every single day.

I wonder how cell phones and other devices will be used in the near future. I wonder if people will continue to subscribe to printed newspapers and look up words in dictionaries. I doubt it.

I wonder if using them will ever become “uncool” and people will only use them for necessity and choose to come out of the social networking world and into the real world. I doubt that too.

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