"You have to know how to live with it without getting to the addiction part": British young adult experiences of smartphone over-reliance and disconnectivity
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AbstractSmartphone usage offers undeniable upsides (e.g. social connectivity and increased productivity). However, the ever-expanding utilities of smartphones have prompted debate around device over-reliance, which has prompted interest in ‘digital detox’, ‘technology pushback’ and ‘disconnectivity’. We report an in-depth qualitative exploration of perceptions of smartphone over-reliance and experiences of attempting to modify usage (i.e., efforts to disconnect) among fourteen 18-30-year-old university students. Semi-structured interview transcripts were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). A first theme – ‘It’s like an addiction’ – concerned the drift from valuing the convenience/productivity afforded by smartphones into feeling over-reliant on devices. Over-reliance could hinder meeting basic needs, limit time for valued pastimes and could unsettle feelings of agency. A second theme – ‘It’s difficult to maintain abstinence’ - concerned barriers to modification efforts, including fearing possible social repercussions, transferring attention to other Internet-affording devices, and self-deception. This article highlights how modifying habitual usage patterns may be challenging and encourages debate around how ‘smartphone over-reliance’ could be framed.
CitationConroy, D., Chadwick, D., Fullwood, C. and lloyd, J. (2022) "You have to know how to live with it without getting to the addiction part": British young adult experiences of smartphone over-reliance and disconnectivity. Psychology of Popular Media. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000425
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
JournalPsychology of Popular Media
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by the American Psychological Association on 01-09-2022. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/