Home > Uncategorized > I’m In Love….With My Smart Phone?

I’m In Love….With My Smart Phone?

A little while ago, I commented on a post regarding a recent experiment that concluded cell phones did not cause cancer. In my comment I discussed how we are addicted to our phones and even if they were found to cause cancer, we wouldn’t be able to stop using them. As I commented I thought about whether addiction to cell phones is a real thing so I began to do a little research, as I expected there are tons of articles some saying yes it is a real thing, some saying no, and then one very interesting one saying something that seems like a little of both. In an OP-ED published in the New York Times titled “You Love Your iPhone. Literally.” the author claims that instead of being addicted to our phones, we are in love with them. In an experiment he conducted, it was found that when the test subjects either saw or heard an iPhone or Blackberry, there was a furry of activity found in the insular cortex of the brain, which is the area associated with love and compassion. The author comments that the brain reacted as it would to a girlfriend or other loved-one was nearby. He concludes that instead of being addicted to their smart phones, we are in love with them.

Could this be true? In this highly technologically world could we view our iPhones and our spouses as equals? I guess anything is possible…sound off in the comments!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I personally don’t think that all of the activity in the insular cortex is caused because of the phone itself, but maybe because of who may be on the other end. People could be thinking that their girlfriend or loved one is the one calling. Phones have the ability to make it as if your right next to someone when they call, so if say a loved one called it would be possible that it could produce the same feeling in the insular cortex as if you were right next to them. I would personally be interested to see who they interviewed and if they were single or married and see if a single person would produce the same result.

  2. October 24, 2011 at 12:06 am

    You bring up a good point and as I was doing a little more reading I found an article that made the same argument. The author believes it is much more likely that the brain activity is due more too the excitement about who is on the other end or what news they bring. The author also notes that the sample size for the original experiment was only 16 people, which is far too small of a number to make any substantial claim. So I guess for now it’s just a small finding but in theory it could lead to a very interesting discovery about how much we truly rely on out smart phones.
    The article can be found here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201110/i-love-my-iphone-neuroscience-love-story

  3. October 24, 2011 at 2:12 am

    I can see the possible challenges to the idea of being in love with your cell phone however, I would argue that the attachment to the phone is more intense that it is with another human being. How many people do you know who spend 24hrs a day with their significant other? How many people do you know who spend 24hrs with their phones? I spend way more time with my phone than with my boyfriend and I am probably more likely to respond to my phone than to boyfriend calling my name. What does that mean?

  4. dj74
    October 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    When people see or hear their cellphones they get all giddy inside; similar to baby seeing its favorite toy. I agree that people may be excited to see who’s trying to contact them and for what reason, but that only explains one function of smart phones today. The experiment only tested the sound of cell phone when it rings, bings, or otherwise makes noise. These are the sounds that any phone makes when it receives an incoming call, email, or message. But what about the millions of apps that people download onto their phones; what about the amount of music, pictures, and videos phones can hold; what about the internet that is now accessible at the palms of their hands.
    To eliminate the doubt that insular cortex was stimulated simply by the audible sounds of the phones, researchers also tested reactions to the sight of the phone; which displays no indication of being contacted by a friend or family member. I do believe that people are more freaked out when they lose their phones because they will not be able to contact their friends rather than finish a level of Angry Birds. But in the wider scope of the experiment, I do think that people love their phones.

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