Cell Phone Attachment

cell phone attachment

Cell Phone Attachment

Having a cell phone available to connect with someone almost anywhere has its benefits but what happens when you become too attached to your cell phone? Cell phone attachment can cause several disruptions in your life.

60 minutes recently ran a segment showing just how attached we become to our cell phones. Stress levels will actually increase when you are unable to check your phone.

Can you relate to this?

A study published in  Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication showed,

“when iPhone users were unable to answer their ringing iPhone during a word search puzzle, heart rate and blood pressure increased, self-reported feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness increased, and self-reported extended self and cognition decreased. ”

“People’s performance on the puzzle also plummeted compared to when they completed the task with their phones safely in reach.”

Prior studies have shown that there is an increase in blood pressure when a cell phone is lost.

What happens when we feel stressed?

The flight or fight response is activated.

Adrenaline and cortisol are released which increase heart rate and blood pressure.

The cell phone attachment grows

The behavior of constantly checking cell phones becomes repetitive.

People who use their smartphones frequently feel compelled to check their calls, texts, social media alerts and email over and over again.

How long does it take you to get back on track after a distraction?

The answer ranges depending on the study you look at.

One study found that  “about 82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed on the same day. But here’s the bad news — it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.”

Can programmers make cell phones users check their cell phone more?

Checking your phone more and more increases the cell phone attachment.

According to 60 minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper,

“the companies responsible for programming your phones are working hard to get you and your family to feel the need to check in constantly. Some programmers call it “brain hacking” and the tech world would probably prefer you didn’t hear about it.

The 60 Minute segment uses Snapchat as an example, “Snapchat’s “streaks” feature shows the number of days in a row that two people have traded photos, and the anxiety of breaking a streak is real.”

Some teens will spend 8 hours a day on their cell phone.

Work interference and cell phone attachment

 According to CNBC,
“While only 10 percent of employees with smartphones said the devices decrease their productivity during work hours, employers pointed to mobile phones as the number one reason for interruptions, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.”

Relationship and cell phone attachment

Have you ever been out at a restaurant and look around. Too often you see people barely speaking to one another.

A survey found that almost three-quarters of women in committed relationships feel that smartphones are interfering with their love life and are reducing the amount of time they spend with their partner.
A study from Brigham Young found that
  • 62 per cent of women in long-term relationships who were surveyed said technology interferes with their free time together.
  • 35 per cent claim their partner will pull out his phone mid-conversation if they receive a notification
  • 25 per cent said their partner actively texts other people during the couple’s face-to-face conversations.
  • 75 percent said their smartphone is affecting their relationship.
  • “This is likely a circular process that people become trapped in where allowing technology to interfere, even in small ways, in one’s relationship at least sometimes causes conflict, which can begin to slowly erode the quality of their relationship,” McDaniel said. “Over time, individuals feel less satisfied with their relationship as well as with the way their life is currently going. They may not even realize this is happening.”

Jealousy over cell phone attachment

According to Time,

“It didn’t matter much how much a person used their device, but how much a person needed their device did. People who were more dependent on their smartphones reported being less certain about their partnerships. People who felt that their partners were overly dependent on their devices said they were less satisfied in their relationship.”

Depression over cell phone attachment

Researchers from Baylor University found that 46 percent of respondents reported feeling phone snubbed by their partner and nearly 23 percent said it caused an issue in their relationship.

More than 36 percent of participants reported feeling depressed at least some of the time. The findings were published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Sleep disturbance and cell phone attachment

Cell phones can disrupt sleep.

The light from the cell phone can suppress melatonin.

The use of electronic devices before bed use also decreased the total number of REM sleep minutes that participants got. REM sleep is considered the most restorative form of sleep.

Cancer risk and cell phone attachment

Is there a higher risk of cancer for those who often use their cell phones. The actual risk is unclear. Dr Erica from Erica Oncology  MD sums up the literature in regards to cancer risks with good supportive literature.

Breaking the cell phone attachment

Set limits for checking and using your cell phone. Start with 30 minutes then work you way up.

Turn off notification such as push notifications that can be disruptive.

Make a rule that you will not check the cell phone during meals or when you are visiting a friend.

Have specific times when you will check your cell phone. You can set an alert so you do not have to keep checking the time.

Consider signing out on your work related email at the end of the day to decrease the risk of burnout.

Put the cell phone away 30 minutes before bed.  Do not leave the cell phone in the bedroom.

What do you think of cell phone attachment?

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About Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS 226 Articles
I am a physician who is interested in providing health information and health tips so that we may live healthy lives.

7 Comments

  1. I always sneered at people who were so attached to their phones until I opened my own business. Now I feel like it is my parasitic fetus in fetu. I would add more to this comment, but I think I heard my phone beep…. 😉 In all seriousness, thank you for highlighting this post – I’m going to share it with my teenage students!

  2. It really is a problem. I can’t believe how many people text and drive. It’s so dangerous. What could be so important? I’ve become very attached to my phone, but I try to use it wisely. I use it to set reminders for things I need to do, to track my workouts, and I use the bedtime feature on my iPhone to make sure I get enough sleep. If I’m up late, it pings me to go to bed and it knows when I’m asleep and won’t play any sounds to disturb me.

  3. So many interesting parts to this blog! I really loved learning about how cell phone jealousy is a think, and how it’s more dependent on needing our phones. I’ve definitely experienced moments of attachment (like in the mornings often), so this was an interesting read.

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