By: Lori Kozlowski, iQ Contributor
We live in a time where there is a computer in your pocket at all times. No longer are the days when you need to wait to get back to your desktop to search the Web for something. The Internet is with you all the time. And we love that. It’s access and communication at your fingertips.
There’s something special about our smart phones; they have a special place in our lives. We’ve endeared them to ourselves so much that they’ve become like companions.
Ask yourself: If I left the house without my wallet, keys, or phone -- which would I be most upset about? Lose your phone and you lose your life. That’s how most of us feel about it. If your phone goes missing -- you’re in a panic. It contains your phone numbers, texts, games, apps, and possibly your bank account all in one.
In 2010, Stanford University polled 200 students. 75% of the students said that they fall asleep with their iPhones snuggled up next to them in bed. Almost half of those polled described the device as “addictive.”
These statistics also emerged from the same study:--84% of the students polled used the device as their watch.--89% of the students polled used it as their alarm. --72% of the students said the device literally made them “happier.”
Also in 2010, the New York Times filmed California high school students and tracked their use of various smart phones in school and after school. The report found that the phone has become a 24/7 sidekick for many.
One female student they interviewed sends and receives 27,000 texts a month. What is more, the same high school teen described the phone as her “baby.” A 2012 Pew Internet Research study shows that one in four teens owns a smart phone, with that number growing by the month.
Teens aren’t the only group who feel a special affinity for the phone. Adults also cherish their devices.
Psychologists have written about smart phones being addictive. But even going beyond addictive behavior, author Martin Lindstrom actually ran tests on the brain, showing that his participants’ brain activity responded to the ringing of their smartphone in the exact same way they responded to the proximity of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Some say we actually “love” the mobile phone.
Lindstrom wrote in the New York Times: “Not long ago, I headed an effort to identify the 10 most powerful, affecting sounds in the world: I found that a vibrating phone came in third, behind only the Intel chime and the sound of a baby giggling.”
Nearly half (46%) of all Americans are smart phone owners right now. That’s a lot of love.
With smart phone uptake on the rise, texting being the medium of moment, and our phones becoming our banks -- as the world moves toward adopting a mobile wallet, there may be reason to believe that phones will almost become the robots we once dreamed of. The electronic devices that assist us with everything. And, in some cases, even make us feel better.