A new product to cure your cell phone addiction?
The words “cell phone” and “addiction” have come together a lot recently in the media. While it is still controversial whether or not cell phone addiction is “real” the research surrounding the topic is growing, and all it takes is a look around to see that we have a hard time putting down our phones.
Exactly how attached are we to our smartphones? Time magazine conducted a worldwide survey to answer this question—and the results are not surprising. Approximately 74% of people reported they couldn’t go more than one day without their phones, and of that group many reported they couldn’t go more than a few hours. Likewise the survey found that people are more or less constantly checking their phones, with 64% of people checking their phone at least once an hour.
This attachment to our phones is where a new product “noPhone” comes in. Developed to help curb your cell phone addiction it boasts itself as a “technology free alternative to constant hand to phone contact.” NoPhone looks like a smartphone, feels like a smartphone, but has absolutely no features of your latest android or iPhone. That’s right. No camera, no Bluetooth, no touchscreen. It doesn’t actually do anything.
But if it doesn’t function, why would you want it? The plastic smartphone look-a-like is meant to act as a placebo – to decrease the distress you might feel while being 100% physically separated from your smartphone. The Dutch and American creatives behind the design and marketing of the noPhone say the idea for the product stems from their witnessing the disengagement in social situations by people in favour of their devices. They wanted to create a product that brings awareness to the addiction, and offers a solution for those who are seriously uncomfortable without their phone.
The noPhone is not being produced yet, and while it may never be fully actualised and put on the market it does shed light on just how attached we are to our phones—so much so that we may need a surrogate replacement, similar to nicotine gum, to help us detach from the digital world.
With studies showing that female college students spend up to 10 hours a day on their cell phone, and males not far behind at 8 hours a day, the question remains if this attachment is the new norm or problematic, and to what point could it become pathological with the likes of shopping addiction or gambling addiction?
While cell phone addiction may or may not be a real thing, internet addiction is real and can have devastating consequences—and smartphones most certainly fuel this addiction with constant hand held access to the internet. They can also easily fuel other addictive behaviours such as gambling, shopping, and sex addictions.
If you find it difficult to set boundaries with yourself regarding your cell phone use, it may be time to check if you have a very real digital or internet addiction. If you feel you are struggling with an addiction of any sort, please contact a professional for help.