Cyber Addiction

The use of technology has become an integral part of our existence on earth whereby we are becoming more and more dependent on technology on a daily basis.

Think about it, and I am certain you already have, our phones have now become our computers, our televisions, our agendas, our notebooks, our watches, our calendars and the list goes on.

Our cellular devices that we often carry in our bags or pockets are now an extension of both our brains and our hearts. We keep our collection of memorabilia as well as our to-do lists along with our favorite quotes and sayings.

The interaction of an average person with a cell-phone is not what it used to be and it has become highly noticeable. Studies have been led worldwide in view of understanding how our lives have completely changed since this new age technology became an extension of our bodies if not a part of it.

A study monitored the swipes, touches, taps and clicks an average person exerts on their phone and came up with a number of how many times we touch our phones in a day. The number was a staggering 2,617 times.

Imagine that and start monitoring how many times your hands have a tendency of going towards your phone even when you do not have the necessity to use it?

I am certain we cannot visualize our grand-parents going back and forth from their comfortable couches to where those cordless telephones adorning the living rooms or corridors sit more than two thousand times a day – in fact it would have been useless to do so. When cell-phones first entered our lives they were mostly tools for faster communication and emergency situations.

They are now all of the aforementioned, boredom saviors and so much more. Deloitte released a study it conducted in 2016 whereby 40pc of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up. During the day, a person looks at his phone approximately 47 times and that number rises to 82 for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Once the day is over, over 30pc of consumers check their devices five minutes before going to sleep and about 50pc in the middle of the night. Surveys also show that the average person in their twenties spend about a cumulative of 10 hours of their day on their phones whether it is browsing, gaming or chatting.

These could be expected from the younger generation which tends to get bored easily and apparently has an attention span less than the average eight seconds that is common for most humans. However, it is the number that is important in adults who tend to check on their phones during meals, driving, and on public transportation. Recently, scientists and sociologists are shifting their attention to parents who are using their cell-phones more and more and giving less attention to their children. Given the fact that we generally fear for the youth and children and their use of technology we tend to focus on them more than we do adults.

As adults can we ask ourselves if we are aware of the damaging behaviors we have inadvertently undertaken regarding technology and how it is affecting us socially amongst other aspects of our lives?

Polls have shown that children are aware of many of the risks associated with overuse of technology but they need the adults in their lives to set clear boundaries and be role models for better behavior.


By Christine Yohannes
Christine Yohannes writes about social change, performs at public events and conducts poetry workshops in schools. She has established a monthly event entitled "Poetic Saturdays" - a platform created to allow everyone the freedom of self-expression through art. She can be reached at

Published on Apr 29,2017 [ Vol 18 ,No 887]



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