Thursday, July 28, 2011
BY ELLEN GIBSON
"Watching people who get their first smartphone, there's a very quick progression from having a basic phone you don't talk about to people who love their iPhone, name their phone and buy their phones outfits," said Lisa Merlo, director of psychotherapy training at the University of Florida...
Merlo, a clinical psychologist, said she has observed a number of behaviors among smartphone users that she labels problematic.
Among them, she said, are some patients who pretend to talk on the phone or fiddle with apps to avoid eye contact or other interactions at a bar or a party; others are so genuinely engrossed in their phones that they ignore the people around them completely.
"The more bells and whistles the phone has," she said, "the more likely they are to get too attached."
For some, the anxious feeling that they might miss something has caused them to slumber next to their smartphones...
For others, being away from their phone will almost certainly cause separation anxiety. According to researchers at the Ericsson Consumer Lab, some people have become so dependent on being able to use their smartphones to go online anytime, anywhere, that without that access, they "can no longer handle their daily routine."