Steve Jobs, the genius behind the Apple iPhone never let his kids use a phone. He thought kids should be kids, and they should do the things kids do. There are people who believe Jobs knew what was coming when the iPhone made its grand appearance January 9, 2007. Steve was a little quirky, according to the people who knew him, so it’s no surprise that using a phone might bring out the addict in people of all ages. Yep. That’s right. Using a phone is not the same as it was before 2007. The phone was a communication device back then. But thanks to Steve Jobs and other techie’s, phones are giving the word addictive a whole new meaning.
According to Adam Alter, a professor of marketing at New York University, phones, and technology in general, are addictive. People use their phones three hours a day on average, according to Alter. Before the iPhone came along the phone use average was 18 minutes. And according to Alter, most people would take a broken arm over a broken phone. That’s a sure sign that phones are more important than the use of a body part. Plus, 70 percent of all emails get the attention of the receiver within six seconds after arrival. And according to another study, kids spend 20 percent less time playing and more time on a phone.
People are in love with their phone, and they take that love to a scary level. They dress their phone, and they give it a ringtone that signals that love. Phones never leave our sight, and if they do, all hell breaks loose trying to find them. People feel lost without their phone. They feel a disconnect with their own reality. Those signs show the power phones have over our thought process. Phones are now the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we look at in the evening.
So how do people break this new addiction? How do people get their sanity back and use their phones without giving in to the innate attraction they project? Alter and other people say tell yourself not to use your phone so much. Say don’t instead of can’t. The word “don’t” is a declaration of power. The experts also say put your phone in a place that’s not easy to reach. Out of sight, out of mind is a good way to stop looking at a phone every ten minutes. And they say to use a stopping rule when checking emails and when stopping by social media sites. But the best way to break the phone addiction may be to replace the bad habit with a good habit. But no one is sure what that good habit looks like in this age of the phone king.