Smartphone Checking Disorder – SCD

Are you more interested in your smartphone than friends, family, or coworkers?

You are not alone.

According to the Mobile Mindset study conducted May 2012 by Harris Research for Lookout Mobile Security, the stats may give you pause.

The key findings were:

  • 60% of smartphone users can’t go an hour without checking their phones.
  • 40% check their phone on the toilet.
  • 30% check their phone during a meal with others.
  • 24% check their phone while driving.

Those randomly sampled responses were from adults. Don’t they seem low?

Mary Meeker & Liang Wu in their 2013 Internet Trends report for Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers (KPCB) said smartphone owners check their phones an average of 150 times a day. That sounds a bit more like it.

So why do so many engage in what is clearly rude and sometimes downright dangerous behavior?

I’m convinced it’s because they are compelled to.  It’s beyond the user’s conscious control. It’s some sort of disease.

Dr. Buzz Ringer of Cell Tech says, “I call it Compulsive Smartphone Checking Disorder (CSCD), and it belongs in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) alongside Internet Addiction Disorder.”

“In fact,” the graduate of the Florida College of Communication (FCC) continues, “I’d tell you more, but I have a call coming in now I just have to take!”

This is obviously a bit of silly fiction, but it does illustrate how people have no idea they are rude or dangerous to those around them.

And is it all that far-fetched? Internet Addiction Disorder was actually is in the DSM-IV. For real!

Then there is “Nomophobia” – no-mobile-phone phobia – coined in 2008 during a UK study conducted by YouGuv showing increased anxiety levels in people who do not have immediate cell phone contact.

The point here is that every technological advance may include a downside. With smartphones, I am sure most have no idea how often they check them.

Start paying attention!

And here’s a novel idea – put it away or turn it off for several hours EVERY DAY. At lunch, during meetings, and while driving at the minimum. You may be surprised to learn that you can actually keep your job while being more efficient at getting things done. Email, texts, and calls are often a disruption that takes you out of whatever you are supposed to be concentrated on doing.

Smartphones are great – but so too is civility.

Credits

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/StalkerJ

Mail Online article retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2141169/The-biggest-phobia-world-Nomophobia–fear-mobile–affects-66-cent-us.html

Psychology Today article retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/smartphone-addiction