Technology Addiction: The Presence of Turned-Off Smartphones Is Distracting

Addiction–what does that make you think of? If you’re like most people, it probably brings up ideas and thoughts surrounding substance addiction–but there’s another type of addiction. Behavioral addictions are often overlooked, but they have the power to tear a family apart just like a substance-based one. One example–which we’ll talk about today–is technology addiction.

At first, those sounding the alarm on technology addiction were laughed at–but as more and more research is done, it’s becoming apparent that it’s a very real danger.

Studies show that technology addiction should not be ignored

Like most parents, you’ve probably just been afraid of your child getting addicted to drugs, but it seems that the new drug is digitalized. Technology addiction’s hits are likes, followers, retweets, and pins. What makes technology addiction scary is that it’s normalized. Because smartphones, social media, and other technological advances are new, it’s been hard to see the consequences until recently.

technology addictionWhen something creates such a need that your daughter puts her own life or the lives of others in danger–such as checking social media/texting while driving–it has become more than just an unhealthy habit. When taking away your daughter’s phone elicits an angry, stressed out, out of character response, there’s probably more to it than just wanting her phone back.

In a New York Times article, Nancy Colier explained why technology addictions pose such a new threat:
“The only difference between digital addiction and other addictions is that this is a socially condoned behavior.”

As a society, we’re normalizing technology addiction–whether it’s interrupting dinner or while driving. On top of this, new research is showing that even when a smartphone is turned off, it has the ability to cause distraction if it’s in the same room.

A shut-off smartphone significantly affects processing power

In a study conducted by the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, researchers have concluded that when your smartphone is within reach–even if it’s powered down–significantly reduces your cognitive capacity.

This study marks the first time researchers have attempted to understand how well people are able to complete tasks when their smartphones are around–even though they weren’t not using them. The study included almost 800 participants that were regular smartphone users.

You would expect that there would be a difference in effect between your phone being on or off–but according to the data from the study, there was virtually no difference. It reduced a person’s ability to focus and do tasks if their phone was anywhere around them.

This is worrying because teens in school usually have their phones somewhere around or on them during class–and this proves that it distracts them significantly even when they’re not using them.

Asheville Academy is here for your family

Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls, ages 10-14. Our students commonly struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, learning differences, and other behavioral or emotional challenges.
With the help of our licensed therapists, experienced teachers, caring staff, and expertly designed program, our students move closer to a healthier life. We use the best tactics and therapeutic methods in order to build a healthy self esteem for girls at Asheville Academy.

For more information about how we help with technology addiction at Asheville Academy, call 800-264-8709 today.