Everywhere you look, people are checking their smartphone with great frequency — and not just teens and college students.
For some, smartphone behavior has become compulsive, with negative effects on their lives.
Scientists at the University of Washington (UW) found a series of triggers, shared by all age groups, that initiated and ended habitual smartphone use.
The researchers also investigated solutions smartphone users created to curb an undesirable level of use.
“Our findings primarily target designers, helping them understand what makes digital experiences meaningful for people. What we learned also shows that designing apps that are easy to pick up and put down at will is better for users than combating attention-grabbing apps with lockout mechanisms,” Alexis Hiniker, PhD, co-author of the study, told Healthline.
“Our findings also describe in detail what compulsive phone use is like in the moment, the factors that trigger it, and the factors that help users break out of that cycle,” Hiniker said.
What the study found