It’s no secret that smartphone addiction is not just some mythical condition conjured up by technophobes to scare people away from their screens. It’s a clinical condition with a medical name (nomophobia), and it’s only getting worse, especially among millennials.
According to a new survey from Bank of America, four in 10 millennials admit to having a closer relationship with their smartphones than with the most important people in their lives. To reach the conclusion that people between the ages of 18 and 34 “interact with their smartphone more than anything or anyone else,” Bank of America surveyed over 1000 people. It can’t be an easy thing to admit that your closest relationship might actually be with a piece of technology, but as our lives become more and more intertwined with our mobile devices, we become more reliant on them.
A 2014 report found that millennials spend over two hours a day on their phones, which tops all other age groups. “In fact, millennials spend so much time on their smartphones that they account for 41% of the total time that Americans spend using smartphones, despite making up just 29% of the population,” the report added. Another recent survey revealed that millennials use their phones whenever they have a moments pause. Of the more than 2000 adults surveyed, 93% admitted to using their phones in bed while 80% admitted to using their phones in the restroom.
David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards, who conducted the survey, said that while there’s no doubt smartphones are making our lives easier, there’s also “a low level anxiety of how much we're connected all the time." Davies also believes that proper etiquette on when and when not to use your smartphone will develop over time. “We’ll keep the stuff that works,” he added. “That’s generally how human beings have evolved and maintained relationships over time, so I would expect the same thing.”
Do you think people spend too much time on their phones? To learn more on the subject (and, if need be, seek assistance with your own dependence), pick up a copy of Cell Phone Addiction.