After surveying about 200 college students on their use of smartphones, a professor at Binghamton University found twice as many women addicted to smartphones, compared to men.
By JASON WHEELER
Addicted to your smartphone? www.helpguide.org has some self-help tips for fighting that addiction.
Schedule specific times to use your smartphone. It could be useful for certain times of day or a reward for completing a task.
Turn your smartphone off at certain times of the day. Whether you’re driving or in a meeting, at the gym or having dinner, take advantage of times when you can turn the phone off.
Keep the smartphone away from bed. The blue light from screens can disrupt sleep if used within two hours of going to bed. Turn off your smartphone before you got to bed and leave it in another room overnight to charge. And instead of a reading an eBook before bed, pick up an actual book.
Replace the smartphone with healthier activities. Use the time to meditate, read a book or have an in-person conversation.
Remove social media applications and only check them from a computer. What people put on social media is rarely an accurate reflection of their lives, and spending less time comparing yourself to someone’s highlight reel can boost your mood and sense of self-worth.
For more tips and ideas on how to curb smartphone addiction, visit www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/smartphone-addiction.htm.
In a December article by Maggie Gilroy — of The Press & Sun Bulletin in Binghamton, New York — Isaac Vaghefi, an assistant professor in the university’s School of Management, said he hadn’t expected to find the gender distinction in his survey.
“It kind of came out of the data,” he said.
The study began about three years ago, and Vaghefi measured the students’ level of dependency, their level of self-regulation, the level of control and the magnitude of consequences. He also gave students a chance to explain and give details to their answers.
When looking at the demographics of the data, Vaghefi found one in three of the males were addicted and two in three females were addicted.
When approached over the weekend, Yavapai College students were mixed on the finding that more women were addicted to their smartphones, compared to men. Out of six women a reporter interviewed at the college, two said they were somewhat addicted to their phones, two said they were not addicted and two said they were addicted.
Victoria McCarty said she believes men are on their phone just as much as women are. McCarty’s friend Nynke De Vries agreed. Calling herself somewhat addicted to her phone, McCarty said she could go a day without it and has.
“I only really go through it when I need to get on an app or something,” she said. “I don’t just go on it just to check to see if I got a notification.”
De Vries also said she was somewhat addicted to her smartphone.
Similarly, Juliette Tygret said she feels the level of addiction is kind of even, with women readily available for a phone call and men the same with texting. Tygret said she does not find herself addicted to her smartphone.
Zoe Burson said she finds herself agreeing with the study’s findings. Men tend to have other things to do, she said. On a guy’s night out, they’ll talk and do stuff while on a women’s night out, they’re sitting there, not knowing what to talk about, so they go on their smartphone, Burson said. However, she said she believes she is not addicted to her smartphone, but does notice when she doesn’t have anything to talk about, she’d rather turn to her phone than start a conversation.
Alanna Kathadhe’ said she feels as if the study’s findings are true and also said she is addicted to her smartphone.
“I think that men … the only technology they’re into is their video games, and they don’t’ care about who they talk to unless it’s something important,” Kathadhe’ said. “They don’t care about social media as much as women do. Us women, we care about, from what I’ve noticed, we care about how many likes we get, who we talk to, the pictures we put up and all the attention from it.”
Emily Carnevale also said she believes herself to be addicted to her smartphone, calling it her connection to everything. Even when she’s on campus, she uses her smartphone to stay abreast of what’s going on with her family back home, as well as her friends who are not on campus, Carnevale said.
The article published in Binghamton about Vaghefi’s study mentions his use of a cluster analysis, by which he noted five types of smartphone users: thoughtful, regular, highly engaged, fanatic and addict. Seven percent of users identified as addicts, and 12 percent identified as fanatics and experienced personal, social and workplace problems due to their smartphone usage.
“How many times do you check your email? If you’re checking it just a couple times a day or check it if you’re expecting something, you’re a regular user,” Vaghefi said. “But if you’re obsessively checking your email, even without receiving one, that’s a problem.”
Vaghefi said he wasn’t sure why more females than males are addicted to smartphones, but that’s something he may look into in the future, he said.
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