Stanford Survey Rates iPhone Addiction: 44% of Students Obsessed
A Stanford University survey of 200 iPhone-using students found the Apple smartphone can be rather addictive for both recent adoptees and long-time users.
Of those surveyed, 70% had their iPhone for less than a year. The study found that many users relied on the device as a part of their lifestyle and, in some cases, couldn’t live without it.
“It had so much personal information that it became a kind of extension of the mind and a means to have a social life,” said Stanford anthropology professor Tanya Luhrmann. “It just kind of captured part of their identity.”
Results of Stanford's iPhone Survey
Participants were asked to rate their level of iPhone addiction on a scale of 1 to 5:
- 10% were fully addicted (5 out of 5).
- 34% ranked themselves 4 out of 5.
- 6% said they weren’t addicted at all (1 out of 5).
Of those who didn’t consider themselves entirely addicted, 32% were concerned they would become addicted. The smartphone had already replaced some older technologies used by the students:
- 85% used it as a watch.
- 89%used it as an alarm clock.
Many had already integrated it is a vital part of their daily lives:
- 69% said they were more likely to forget their wallet than their iPhone.
- 75% admitted to sleeping next to their iPhone.
Side Effects of iPhone Addiction
Admission of severe addiction was lower:
- 15% said it was turning them into media addicts.
- 25% found it to be “dangerously alluring.”
- 30% said it was “a doorway into the world.”
- 41% said it would be “a tragedy” to lose their iPhone.
A few users had separation issues or were considered more addicted to the device than most:
- 3 % said they wouldn’t let anyone touch their iPhone.
- Another 3% have given their iPhone a name.
- 8% admitted they have had the thought, “My iPod is jealous of my iPhone.”
- 7% said their roommate or partner were “iPhone widows,” meaning they felt neglected by the participant’s use of the device.
The Upside of iPhone Obsession
Not all of the results were negative and many users cited positive aspects of owning the smartphone:
- 54 % said it has made them more productive.
- 70 % said it has made them more organized.
- 74 % said it has made them cool.
Luhrmann said she doesn’t think that an iPhone addiction is necessarily unhealthy. The survey didn’t cover other smartphones such as the BlackBerry, which could have similar levels of addiction.
“I think they really like their iPhone,” she said.