Addicted to (Phone) Love


A few weeks ago, my very, very old (2013) iPhone died. On a Saturday morning. Despite being plugged in all night it refused to recharge. It was dead, mort, finis—or so I thought. I tried everything to bring it back to life. I must have checked the phone 30 times that morning to see if it had resurrected itself. Panic began to set in. No phone for the weekend? No Google maps? No text messages? No news?!! I sent an SOS email to the Jobson IT department. None of their suggestions worked. I had run out of options. At that moment, I realized it was official—I was addicted to my phone.

It seems I’m not the only one so closely tethered to my cell phone. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Mobile Consumer Survey “mobile has become indispensable across all demographics and geographies.”

Here are some interesting excerpts taken from the survey which explored consumer attitudes about mobile technology:

Life’s Essentials: Air, Water, Food and Smartphones

The time it takes for us to pick up our phones in the morning continues to shrink: more than 40 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up. As a first thing, we check our IM or text messages (35 percent), followed by emails (22 percent). During the day, we look at our phones approximately 47 times and that number rises to 82 for 18- to 24-year-olds. Once the day is over, over 30 percent of consumers check their devices five minutes before going to sleep, and about 50 percent of us check our devices in the middle of the night.

We Just Can’t Put Our Devices Down

Outside of work, shopping still ranks as the No. 1 activity during which consumers use their phones, with 93 percent reported usage. Spending leisurely time and watching TV follow closely at 90 percent and 89 percent, respectively. More than half of consumers (58 percent) report they have used their phones to browse a shopping website or app, and more than a third (38 percent) say they do so at least once a week. Nearly 40 percent say they have used their phones to pay for products.

Youngest Aren’t Always the Trendsetters

A typical technology adoption curve usually shows the youngest generation demonstrating the highest levels of interest and use. In past years, the survey (now in its 6th year) has confirmed this trend, with the 18- to 24-year-old group leading in mobile technology usage. This year, the survey showed 25 to 34-year-olds leading the charge—sometimes by a dominant margin. The survey also showed that with the technological know-how and the increased cash flow, 25- to 34-year-olds are demonstrating higher levels of mobile device interest and use.

Our cell phones and other mobile devices have forever changed the way we communicate (or not) with one another. It has impacted our conversations, both in our personal and business lives.

According to a recent New York Times article, “In our quest to be connected through technology, we’re tuning out our partners and interrupting a kind of biological broadband connection.”

“People are beginning to realize that something is amiss,” said Sherry Turkle, an M.I.T. technology professor and author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. “They don’t necessarily know what to do about it, but they are open to change.”

In the end, my old iPhone wasn’t dead after all. That Saturday, as I pulled into my sister’s driveway a few hours later, it buzzed back to life. Thank God I thought, I’m connected to the world again. But the whole experience scared me into getting a new phone. The iPhone 7 is much faster than my always dying 5 so maybe I’m actually spending less time on the phone. Who am I kidding?!

VM thanks Daniel Feldman, of DBA Designs, who posted this
chart from eMarketer on an online forum last week.

Put Down the Phone and Start Living

Are you addicted to your phone? Are your personal relationships suffering because you just can’t put the phone down? Here are a few stories which can help diagnose your obsession and offer tips on what to do about it.

Addicted to Your Mobile Phone? 5 Ways to Beat Your Phone Addiction
Is your phone interfering with your every day life? Here's 5 Ways you can Beat your Phone Addiction.

Addicted to your smartphone? 10 signs you might be -
Smart phone addiction is real, says Dr. David Greenfield of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. Here are 10 signs you've got a problem.

Cell Phone Addiction Signs and Symptoms -
Learn about the effects, signs and symptoms of cell phone addiction.

What are your “solutions” to (MPA) mobile phone addiction? Email us at