Unless your phone weighs in at about 5 pounds, uses a 3ft. retractable antenna complete with a monochrome screen and 11 “D” batteries, odds are you and your mobile phone are “tight.”
We see it every day…whether you’re in the office, school, driving, or on a date, mobile devices have embedded themselves into everyday life, and like most, people can’t seem to put them down. It’s become routine. With technology making it so easy to stay “connected”, it’s only a matter of seconds before that next viral meme, breaking news, or latest gossip comes across your screen. And while there are so many benefits to staying connected, at what point is the interaction between you and your new BFF (mobile device) a little too much?
Hey…. I get it. I fall victim to this all the time. Who doesn’t spend their downtime these days scrolling through news feeds, swiping left, swiping right, or playing a virtual game of tag? Ironically enough, mobile phones have become this generations coping mechanism. Much like Gin and TV delivering a sense of freedom throughout the years, this new addiction is displacing “our” time from one source to another. Mobile devices empower the user. Users dictate what they want to subject themselves to and how long the user desires the exposure to last. Who doesn’t like power right? However, this black hole that keeps sucking us in is numbing other aspects of our lives.
Life’s all about choices. It’s the tradeoff that exists when we sacrifice one option in order to gain another. That said, CNN recently released a poll conducted by Common Sense Media that revealed 50% of teens are addicted to their mobile device. In their “Nomophobia” or No-Mo-Phone-Bia quiz, participants answered a series of questions and rated their responses with a 1-7 scale, and based on a person’s score, one could determine how much anxiety someone may experience when they’re without their mobile device, or simply cannot access it.
But who’s to blame for creating this insatiable bond? Are we prisoners of our own device? Perhaps not.
Mobile device manufacturers and app developers are using various techniques to deliberately attract your attention – and they’re getting more successful at it.
In the end, the goal is to reel you in and hold your attention. And maybe that’s the very reason that explains how the rapid rise in social media platforms correspond with the rise in advertising dollars funneled in by large companies.
While this may seem like an obvious scheme, what’s not apparent is if consumers are consciously looking out for these deceptive tactics. Business Insider recently investigated what actually happens to consumers based on the mobile apps they use. Below is a list of some of the most popular ways in which you become glued to your mobile device:
These notifications are sent to attract you. Whether it’s from friends or the platform itself, this habit-forming technique is often credited with doubling the amount of time someone interacts with a specific app.
The Spinning Wheel
Simply put, it’s the same premise for how casinos keep your attention. Users hope to uncover new media each time they initiate spinning wheel in hopes of a “small” payout. Is new content really loading or is the app only choosing to show you certain details?
Fear Of Missing Out! Are you so close to unlocking a new feature if you only send this chain message to 10 of your friends?
Turning your impulses into obligations in order to add people that may or may not add value to your social network.
If Life becomes too hectic, don’t worry! Your friends at Facebook were nice enough to keep track of your life. Care to view your most monumental moments of 2017?
I think we all know what this is all about…bragging rights.
So, what’s the common thread here? All these different tactics address you directly and influence you to reengage with your mobile device.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mobile phone use is partially to blame for the distracted driving that kills an estimated nine people each day. And to make matter worse, millennials are the worst offenders, especially for texting while driving. Have attention spans been so distorted that individuals can’t function without their faces glued to their phones?
Many families, relationships, and even individuals themselves have gone to great lengths to remedy this phenomenon. From “no phone zones”, to “locking it up”, and even “timed” windows to help mitigate this craze, somehow or another, we always find ourselves back on our mobile devices.
So, I guess I’ll leave you with this…
Are we really in control of the content we subject ourselves to, or is this another sly tactic? As always, sound off in the comments and thank you for kikinitwithraf!