"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

Conroy, Dominic, Chadwick, Darren, Fullwood, Christopher and Lloyd, Joanne (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. (In Press)

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Abstract / Description

Smartphone usage offers undeniable upsides (social connectivity, 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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: smartphones; addiction; disconnectivity; phone-free days; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology > 150 Psychology
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Dominic Conroy
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2022 07:50
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 08:13
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7791

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