Seniors May Be As Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids It took a long time my 69-year old mother to finally break down and buy an cellphone -she said – “They’re too expensive.” “Who am I texting, anyway?” But since purchasing her second-hand iPhone in the past two years, she’s hardly got it off her hands. Word Crack, a Boggle-like word game, is her well chosen drug. However, she also makes use of the tiny screen on her phone to read books she has borrowed digitally at the library (a daily book habit) and obviously FaceTime with her grandkids.
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids My mother-in law is similarly situated. She’s able to provide you with the forecast for the weather where her seven grandchildren (plus the 26 grandkids) reside because she constantly check in the app that forecasts weather for the phone. There’s also the constant notification from social media that come from Facebook, Instagram and GroupMe. Ding, ding, and Ding.
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids The millennials are believed to be the people who are hooked to their phones and not seniors (sorry mom however, you must request a discount when you go to the movies). However, as more gray-haired Americans purchase and use smartphones are they becoming like their electronic devices?
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids In January of 2017 The Pew Research Center released the most recent figures regarding smartphone usage within the United States. Over three-quarters of American adults (77 percent) are now using smartphones However, the fastest growing group is those over 50 with 74 percent who have a smartphone. This is an increase of 16 percentage points from one year ago. The percentage of smartphone owners Americans over 65 is currently at 42 percent rising 12 percentage points over 2015. Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids
An increase in the use of smartphones is one issue, but what about the connection that seniors are having with their smartphones? Are they healthy? In 2015 the year that Pew asked Americans aged varying in age to “describe” their smartphone, the elderly gave overwhelming positive answers. Monica Anderson is a research associate at Pew and was a part of the analysis of the data from the survey in 2015.
“Older Americans were more likely to describe their phone as something that connected them to other people as opposed to it being a distraction,” Anderson adds.
A lot has changed Since Pew asked these questions in 2015. Now that smartphone adoption among Baby Boomers and seniors has spiked, will they pick up the same bad attitudes and bad habits as text-obsessed teens and social-media-enslaved millennials?
Doctor. David Greenfield is the creator of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and is an assistant professor of psychotherapy within the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. The book he wrote was a game changer ” Virtual Addiction” in 1999. He is also an acknowledged expert on gaming addiction, internet addiction and the addiction to smartphones. He believes the older Americans are equally vulnerable to the neurological stimuli and traps that lead to addictive behaviors.
“Based on [the Pew] statistics, it’s likely that you’ll see more people get into trouble with it.
The more seasoned tech-addicted or abusive patients Greenfield treats in his clinic are often using the unlimited accessibility of their phones to fuel their addictions offline, such as gambling, shopping and stock trading as well as pornography. This is in contrast to younger patients, who tend to be more likely to struggle with addiction issues to gaming and social media and gaming, which do not have offline alternatives.
But, Greenfield says, the phone was created to trigger buttons in the brain which can cause compulsive behavior or even addiction among individuals of all ages.
“The smartphone is the world’s smallest slot machine,” Greenfield says. Greenfield. “Every time you go online, you don’t know what you’re going to find. Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids Your brain is wired release a pleasant rush of dopamine whenever you encounter something new and exciting. Therefore, each time it’s that “ding” of a smartphone notification, Greenfield says it’s a green signal to your brain, signalling that the dopamine rush is just around the corner just like looking forward to seeing if that third cherry is a hit on an electronic slot machine.
“It’s incredibly addictive. Incredibly addictive.”
Each of Greenfield along with Anderson from Pew affirm that there isn’t enough information for us to know with confidence that senior Americans are anything like 20-somethings when it comes to mobile phone use (or misuse). Anderson states that Pew is developing a follow-up study specifically on mobile technology.
It’s tempting to think that smartphone addiction is an uninvolved, but annoying compulsion. What happens if your grandmother checks her Facebook account during meals? Your child has been doing this for a long time. But there are times where the compulsion to check your mobile can become deadly when distracted driving.
The year 2014 saw 3179 individuals were killed in crashes caused by distracted driving, and 431,000 were injured. The statistics show that teenagers tend to check their email or text when driving, however it’s not just them engaged in this dangerous behavior.
Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids A study conducted in 2012 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered it was 2.2 percentage of those 65 or older involved in an accident in the previous year had read a text or email prior to the crash. For people aged 18 to 20 this figure stood at 3.3 percent, yet more than 8.2 percent reported writing texts in the event of an accident.
Greenfield says that kids tend to be more inclined to engage in risky behaviors such as driving distracted because their prefrontal cortexthe area of our brain that is involved with judgement and using previous experiences to make decisionsis not fully developed until mid-twenties.
Take into consideration that people who are older generally have slower reactions and reaction times than younger people and we may have an increasing problem in our hands.