A new study from Loughborough University and the University of Iceland in Reykjavik shows people are developing emotional attachments to their smartphones—or, at least, to the connectivity the devices give them to the Internet. The results from the study indicate people have a stronger bond with their phones than initially anticipated, resulting in a need to keep their phones close at all times.
The study surveyed 205 smartphone users from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada, China, Australia, Peru and the United States, ranging from 16 to 64 years of age. Initial conclusions suggest people are drawn to the ease of use and versatility of smartphones. They immerse themselves into apps and networks that allow them to stay connected with friends and family members, as well as entertainment opportunities. The study also says people enjoy the customization and personalization opportunities that come with smartphones.
“Smartphones are creating a huge ripple in the pond of human behavior and it is important that, as smartphones develop, we continue to study the way they affect behavior, emotions and emotional attachments,” said Dr. Tom Page, one of the leading researchers in the study.
The exact results of the study have not been published yet, and we must keep in mind this study covered a very small sample of the population over several countries and age groups. There is no denying that people likely have an emotional attachment with their phones, but the strength of that bond may need to be measured with a larger sample size.