Smart Phone Addiction over the Holidays

Smartphones are an incredible way to capture moments during the holidays. 

It’s one of the few times of the year you and your whole family are together. So, of course, you take the opportunity to snap a few photos of everyone around the dining room table. Or take a video of your cousin’s face when she opens the doll she hasn't stopped asking for.

Even if you use all your will-power to stop yourself from immediately posting those magical shots to your Instagram story, it won't stop notifications from flashing across your screen. Before you know it, you're answering emails during the holidays and scrolling through social media.

And it's not just you. You look around the table and everyone is chatting over WhatsApp with friends and family overseas and your youngest cousins are engrossed in whatever is trending on Youtube.

A quick glance around the living room and everyone's digital dependency (dare I say smartphone addiction) becomes abundantly clear. All it takes is one person typing in their password to respond to a text and suddenly everyone reaches for their phone. It's as contagious as a yawn.

In 2015 the Pew Research Centre surveyed 3000 adults. They found that 88% of respondents believe it’s “generally” not OK to use a cell phone during dinner, so why do we seem to be glued to our phones during the holidays?

Did you decide to spend your holiday working? To collect “likes”? Or did you go for some quality time?

We go on holidays wanting to take a break from work, but smartphone addiction is making it harder and harder to do so. It can be next to impossible to turn off your phone knowing someone from work might need or that you might miss a text from your best friend.

A study by Asurion found that the average American struggles to go more than 10 minutes without checking their phones. Crazy to conceive of isn’t it? They surveyed 2,000 people, finding that on average, people checked their phones five times a day - or once every 12 minutes. Whether they were at the pool, the beach or the museum, the study found that participants checked in 80 times a day while on vacation, some as many as 300 times a day!

One thing is clear: people may want a break from work, but they definitely don’t want a break from their phones.

A quick glance around the living room and everyone's digital dependency (dare I say smartphone addiction) becomes abundantly clear

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that we gravitate to our phones during the holidays. You get to catch up with family members you don’t see very often and what better way to fill them in than to open your phone and start showing them photos? (May be you even go directly to Instagram to show your best shots).

As someone who lives in a different province from their family, I admit that I’m guilty of bombarding my brothers with photos and stories of everything I’ve done in the past semester over Christmas. You know, over eggnog and what-not. 

And let’s not forget, not everyone spends Christmas in the city where they spend their everyday where they live. Maybe you’re heading to your hometown, and so you’re  and are constantly checking your phone planning coffee-dates with  for updates from on old friends. Or you decided to go on vacation in Europe and you’re are using your phone to become a more savvy tourist. 

All it takes is one person typing in their password to respond to a text and suddenly everyone reaches for their phone. It's as contagious as a yawn.

It might seem nearly impossible to separate yourself from your phone but it’s important to find phone-life balance during the holidays.

Turn your phone on “Do not Disturb” (iPhone users can even set contacts as “favourites” if they’re worried about missing certain notifications). Log out of Instagram and Facebook so you’re less likely to fall victim to endless scrolling or (as crazy as this sounds!) you could just shut your phone off entirely. 

Hear that? It’s the sound of no-notifications. Our gift to you. Happy holidays.

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