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Are We Getting Better At Dealing With Our Mobile Device Addiction?

Are We Getting Better At Dealing With Our Mobile Device Addiction?

Consulting firm Deloitte had recently conducted a survey on mobile users based in the United States, and just this week, it released the results of its 2017 Global Mobile Consumer Survey. The company’s data shows that close to half of Americans are making a deliberate effort to significantly minimize their mobile device usage. This is based on the answers of 2,000 respondents in the country, although as the name of its survey suggests, Deloitte had polled over 51,000 consumers across 32 countries across the globe, with ages between 18 years old and 75 years old.

The idea that half of mobile users are consciously trying to reduce their phone usage is eye opening, and may even be a cause for hope for some. Despite the fact that we always see people's eyes constantly glued to their smartphone’s screens everywhere we go, it must be a bit comforting to know that there are a number of people that not only accept they are addicted to their mobile devices, but are actually doing something about it. 

But how exactly does one try to curb his addiction to smartphones? There are a number of ways, and they are as diverse as today’s range of handset brands. As pointed out by Dan Littmann, the author of the 2017 Global Mobile Consumer Survey and the principal of technology, media and telecommunications at Deloitte, it could be as simple as making sure one’s smartphone is not in your direct line of sight. Or it could involve more proactive and deliberate means like disabling certain functionalities such as audio alerts. For consumers who are starting to think that their sleeping cycles are getting affected by too much mobile device use, the obvious method is to turn off one’s handset before going to sleep. 

But dealing with mobile device addiction is easier than done -- in June of last year, Intel Security had conducted its own study on the mobile usage habits of today’s consumers, and it found nearly half of American users just could not bring themselves to avoid checking email messages while on a vacation.

Still, we are bound to hit the ceiling at a certain point. Littman is even suggesting that that day might be coming. Everybody can agree that smartphone devices are pretty useful gadgets to have in our daily lives. Even more so now with the popularity of social media networks, the ease in which we can get information instantly (thanks to Google), and simply FOMO (fear of missing out). According to Pew Research, about three fourths of adults in the United States own a smartphone, which marks a whopping 35 percent increase compared to that of six years ago. Yup, smartphone ownership is on the rise, but when everybody has a handset, that rate of growth should become steady and even slow down.

Will there come a time when we get tired of smartphones? Maybe -- but for now, we are hooked, for better or worse.