Most of us use our smartphones at a healthy rate, occasionally checking email, talking or texting friends, surfing the web, or playing some games throughout a regular day. Some smartphone users, however, obsessively cling to their phones night and day. This smartphone addiction gets so intense that these users are reporting hearing “phantom vibrations” — that is mistakenly thinking your phone vibrated with a new call or text message when it didn’t.
Researchers interviewed and ran psychometric stress tests on over 100 participants. They found that a person’s level of stress is often related to how often they check their smartphone. People with the highest levels of stress were the ones most likely to experience the “phantom vibrations.” These results are being reviewed at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Conference.
“Organizations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress,” claims head researcher Richard Balding at the University of Worchester. “It is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off; cut the number of work emails sent out of hours, and reduce people’s temptation to check their devices.”
Alright, I’ll admit the “phantom vibration” phenomenon has happened to me once or twice. Smartphones do get addictive; I’ve been playing Temple Run nonstop lately. Just remember to keep your priorities straight, especially when it comes to situations like texting while driving.
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