How to beat compulsive phone use

16-May-2019

In the decade since smartphones have become ubiquitous, we now have a feeling almost as common as the smartphones themselves: being sucked into that black hole of staring at those specific apps — you know which ones they are — and then a half an hour has gone by before you realize it.

Researchers at the University of Washington conducted in-depth interviews to learn why we compulsively check our phones. They found a series of triggers, common across age groups, that start and end habitual smartphone use. The team also explored user-generated solutions to end undesirable phone use. The results will be presented May 7 at the 2019 ACM CHI conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Glasgow, Scotland.

“For a couple of years I’ve been looking at people’s experiences with smartphones and listening to them talk about their frustration with the way they engage with their phones,” said co-author Alexis Hiniker, an assistant professor at the UW’s Information School. “But on the flip side, when we ask people what they find meaningful about their phone use, nobody says, ‘Oh, nothing.’ Everyone can point to experiences with their phone that have personal and persistent meaning.

You can read more from the University of Washington here.



 

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