These data strongly suggest that many may, indeed, be addicted to their smartphones. I’ve studied shopping addiction for 20 years and have a pretty good sense of when normal behaviors veer into unhealthy preoccupations. The fact that 80 to 90 percent
of people use their phones while driving — which, by one estimate
, causes 6,000 deaths and US$9 billion in damages annually — is a clear sign that something is amiss. And as a college professor, I’ve seen, firsthand, the overwhelming distraction caused by smartphones in the classroom.
But I also wondered: Are some people more likely to become addicted to their smartphones than others? There’s a good body of research
tying certain personality types to being prone to other addictions. Could a similar link exist for smartphone addiction?