Rise of the Smartphone

August 2015

Research suggests that over 30% of adults use their smartphone within 5 minutes of waking up;  we spend on average 3.6 hours a day on the device.  It has many of the characteristics of an addiction in terms of its importance in our lives, its effects on mood, the development of tolerance and evidence of withdrawal.  It's fuelling the rise in narcissism in society by allowing individuals high levels of control and selection in terms of how they  present to their friends and followers on social media, and great ease in eliciting immediate likes and positive comments from this set of individuals.  But perhaps even more importantly, it's impacting on the quality of face-to-face interaction.  I stressed that face-to- face interaction is the foundation stone of the social world where we learn about reciprocity, interpreting emotion and empathy.  Much harder with parallel activities going on, and no joint focus.