Intervention of Smartphone Addiction

Intervention of Smartphone Addiction

Libi Shen (Concordia University, USA) and Anchi Su (UCLA, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch010

Abstract

Since IBM released the Simon Personal Communicator in 1992, smartphones have brought modernization, convenience, communication, and revolution to human society. The smartphone has become inextricable from human beings due to its fantastic features and marvelous functions. With innumerable benefits, people are addicted to smartphones without knowing it. Many researchers have examined smartphone addiction, specifically the definitions, symptoms, criteria, risk factors, and consequences of smartphone addiction in the past decades; however, the intervention strategies and the effects of intervention for smartphone addiction are scant. More research is needed to help smartphone addicts and to avoid smartphone addiction in the long run. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the definitions, symptoms, criteria, reasons, and consequences for smartphone addiction as well as to explore intervention strategies for preventing smartphone addiction. Hopefully, this chapter will contribute to digital addiction a bit and help prevent smartphone addiction.
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Introduction

Modern technology has brought communication, convenience, connection, commerce, and comfort to people’s lives. The pocket-size smartphone is one of the technological inventions that impacts our daily activities immensely. Smartphones have evolved with technological innovation through various companies over the years (e.g., 1994, IBM Simon; 1996, Nokia 9000 Communicator; 1997, Ericsson 6s 88 Penelope; 1998, RIM Inter@ctive Pager 900; 1999, Qualcomm pdQ Smartphone; 2000, Ericsson R380; 2001, Palm Kyocera 6035 and Samsung SPH-1300; 2002, T-Mobile Sidekick; 2003, Blackberry, 6210 and Blackberry 7210; 2006, Blackberry Pearl 8100; 2007, Blackberry Curve 8300, Apple iPhone, and Samsung F700; 2008, T-Mobile G1; 2010, Samsung Galaxy S Line and HTC Nexus One; 2012, Samsung Galaxy Note; 2014, Lower Cost Smartphone Production) (WIPP, 2014).

In The History and Evolution of the Smartphone: 1992-2018, Andrew (2019) stated that the features of 1994 IBM Simon Personal Communicator included touch screen, email, fax, notes, calendar, and apps; the first Blackberry mobile device had a calendar, music, a full keyboard, advanced security, and Internet access; the Apple iPhone had iPod video and wide LCD screen with 8 hours talk time and 250 hours on standby; and the modern smartphone of 2018 has more memory, multiple applications, HD camera, and longer battery hours. Additionally, the first iPhone released by Steve Jobs in 2007 had a touchscreen; Apple introduced the first voice-activated assistant Siri in 2011, lightning-fast browsing with 4G in 2012, waterproofing of smartphones in 2013, dual cameras in 2014, 4K high definition resolution screen in 2015, and facial recognition and fun animated emojis for iPhone on its 10th anniversary in 2017 (Friedman, 2018). Today, a smartphone can be used to make voice calls and video calls, access the Internet, browse the Web, take phone calls, navigate with GPS, play music and videos, manage contacts, send emails, play games, and run new applications from the Internet (Tech Savvy Seniors, 2018).

The problem is that, with so many functions and benefits, some people are game addicted, Internet addicted, social media addicted, or apps addicted without knowing it while using the smartphones. In examining technology used by teens in the U.S., Richter (2017) found that only 53% of teens could go without using smartphone for one day or less, 18% for more than a day or less a week, and 18% for more than a week. In fact, smartphone owners in the U.S. typically check their phones 47 times a day, and 85% of people use smartphones while talking to their family or friends (Richter, 2018). Eighty percent of people check their phones within an hour and 35% do so within five minutes before going to bed or after getting up (Richter, 2018). Forty-Seven percent of people tried to limit their phone uses but only 30% has done so successfully (Richter, 2018). Tossell, Kortum, Shepard, Rahmati, and Zhong (2015, p. 37) found that “addicted users spent twice as much time on their phone and launched applications much more frequently (nearly twice as often) as compared to the non-addicted user. Mail, Messaging, Facebook and the Web drove this use.”

The excessive use of smartphones could endanger people’s health, physically or mentally. As Choliz (2010) noted, the uncontrolled, inappropriate or excessive use of the mobile phone can give rise to social, behavioral and affective problems. Gutierrez, de Fonseca, and Rubio (2016) illustrated what behavioral problems and disorders in adolescents as well as physical and psychological problems were caused by cell phones (e.g., rigidity and muscle pain, ocular afflictions – fatigue, dryness, blurry vision, irritation, or ocular redness, auditory and tactile illusions, pain and weakness in the thumbs and wrists). Boumosleh and Jaalouk (2017) also explained that the prevalence of smartphone addicted university students exhibits compulsive behavior, functional impairment, withdrawal, and tolerance.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cell phone: Cellular phone; a portable cordless phone.

Applications: Mobile applications; software programs designed to run on the phone to provide services to users.

Virtual Assistants: A robotic system from software company who provides help to people in need in smartphones (e.g., Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung Bixby, etc.).

Mobile Phone: A wireless handheld device that allows users to make or receive phone calls as well as to use other features such as web browsers, games, cameras, video players, and navigational systems.

Intervention: Actions or approaches taken to improve or avoid the situation.

Smartphone Addiction: A state in which the users exhibit problematic excessive overuses of their mobile phones.

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