I’ll be the first to admit it: I love my smartphone.
For many of us it’s a lifeline—and a major expense. While the average cell phone costs around $20, the average smartphone starts at $200, and that’s before you add memory, a data plan and optional insurance, to say nothing of the $56 in accessories the average user bought last year.
Despite that, a recent TIME survey found that 84% of respondents couldn’t go a day without their phones, 20% check their phones every 10 minutes, and 50% sleep with their phones next to them.
According to Dr. David Greenfield, one of the world’s leading experts on compulsive technology and smartphone use, and the founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, the adoption of the smartphone has exceeded any previous technological adoption in the history of humankind.
But is the smartphone costing you more than a big chunk of change? We took a closer look at the toll mobile technology is having on many marriages, kids, work productivity and even our safety.
Has Your Smartphone Taken Over?
Over half of moms in the United States say they are “addicted” to their smartphone, according to a 2011 BabyCenter report. The survey found that adoption of smartphones among moms has risen 64% in two years.
Anne, a mom of two boys in Chevy Chase, Maryland, says she is 100% dependent on her smartphone. “It’s my office,” says the real estate agent. “I check it probably every three to five minutes.”
Amy, a mom of two girls, from Hoboken, New Jersey, checks hers about eight times an hour. “I read the news on the USA Today app and the New York Times app and I Facebook, email and text. My girls are young and I never get to watch the news—the apps are how I keep up.”
What’s the Big Deal?
It looks like our “quick” smartphone checks are leading to some pretty unhealthy behavior: