Are you addicted to your phone Apps?


Helene Kinsler Permanent, Contract, process engineering jobs...

Are you addicted to your phone Apps?
You decide

Summer is over and along comes Autumn and the windy, cold weather. In all of the sunshine, how often were you on your smartphones, or androids checking out or updating social media, both during work hours and social times yourself? And with the dark nights and days drawing in, will we rely on Social media more to communicate?

Recent study and reports have stated that we, as a nation, are addicted to our phones and social media. So how can we control our usage – or do we really want to? On another note, not everyone has Social Media, so are they better off than those who do?

3 of the top social media platforms (Facebook; Instagram and Snapchat) are all in the process of developing new features that will allow us to monitor and/or restrict the time we spend on our apps. There is a campaign through Public Health to get us to quit Social Media throughout September – but is this as hard as quitting smoking or drinking? So many questions to be answered.

Public Health England points to growing evidence of negative impacts of social media platforms, giving us high levels of anxiety, depression, cyberbullying, lack of sleep and low self-esteem. But a positive note is that it also allows people to connect with the outside world and not feel isolated. It is also good for marketing purposes for Businesses, both small and Corporate. So, what’s the answer?

Facebook and Instagram are rolling out tools that allow users to monitor app usage, set time limits and reminder to “take a break”. Instagram has also added a “You’re all caught up” notification when users reach the bottom of an image feed; but how does this help us with our “Addiction”? You could argue it gives us a nudge to think of other things and put down our phones, but with the art of letter writing and conversation slowly dying out, isn’t it better to keep up with the news and other information via the apps.

If you think about how often you check your phone, updates, post messages, on average it has proven to be approximately 3 hours per day (21 hours a week) – that’s 21 hours per day spare, of which we sleep approximately 8 hours a night – 13 hours available of which we work approximately 8 hour days – 5 hours of socialising, shopping, driving to and from our places of work – so are we really addicted? You decide.

Do we really need monitoring? Would it help us if we switched off, to be better communicators? Would you give up Social media for a month? I may try it myself and report back after a month on my progress – I may find it hard as I use it a lot, but I don’t feel it impacts my life. I will let you know – I shall start in October and report back in November. (I feel I will need it closer to Christmas).

Acknowledgments: SkyNews; Facebook; Instagram: Public Health England.