Connected or Addicted to Your Smartphone

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In spite of a clear message from the school that cellphones are not allowed in class, can't be on the desk and must be turned off and put away...

"They'll still have it out and when I approach them about that they'll say, 'but you don't understand, someone just sent me a text message.' There is a sense of 'I have to be connected all the time,' " says Kim Korcsmaros, instructor of speech in social sciences at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

When the drug of choice is taken away...whether a hand set or heroin, symptoms appear.

"Their heart rate goes up, their blood pressure rises, they begin to sweat; and then you go through other symptoms of withdrawal," says Korcsmaros. "The students exhibit that whenever you say, 'you can't have this, you can't use this' or they lose it... 'I don't know where it is,' they come in in a state of panic."

There's a really strong connection between young adults and their cellphone; whether it rises to the level of addiction, we may need to do more research or go to the source themselves.

"This is the first generation that's been connected to the Internet from birth through adulthood, so this is a social and cultural norm for them," Korcsmaros says.

Smartphones, we know they keep us connected, but are you addicted?

"I'm absolutely addicted to my phone right now and I love it and if I can't find my phone, if I lose it, I don't like it," says Tyler Ohrn, vice president of student government for communications at WVUP.

Hannah Nichols uses her smartphone every free moment she has.

"I definitely think I'm addicted to it because I'm on it anytime I get a break," Nichols says.

She definitely considers herself a smartphone junkie.

"I don't think I could live without it," Nichols says. "I get on it; I use Facebook, Twitter, text, call, look up stuff on the Internet and shop."

Relying heavily on smartphones and social media changes communication by taking away the non-verbal component.

"When we remove that from the communication context, that's what they do when they rely on smartphones or Ipads or any other kind of media or communication," Korcsmaros says. "We change the idea of what it means to be connected. So now I think our students and young adults are connected at a superficial level."

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