The Point

The Point: Smart Phone Blankies


John Stonestreet

If you have withdrawals, it’s probably an addiction. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

There’s a real condition called “phantom vibration syndrome,” when frequent cell phone users experience the sensation of a phone vibrating in their pocket even when it’s not there.

And now there’s a new technology-related condition: smart phone separation anxiety. Psychologists in Hungary studied how a group of 18-26-year olds reacted to having their phones taken away. The BBC reports that the subjects experienced irregular heartbeats and unconscious signs of stress like scratching and fidgeting.

Researchers think these symptoms occur because smart phones function like security blankets, standing in for face-to-face social interaction. Without that calming release of dopamine, we find it difficult to concentrate and perform. Paradoxically, being distracted by a phone makes it just as hard to concentrate and perform.

Now what’s the worldview point here? Stewardship of our time, minds, and technology. We shouldn’t find security in technology. And there’s nothing “smart” about being physically dependent on a phone.


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