How many times do you check you smartphone a day? Approximately 34 times if you are an average user, according to a CNN article citing the Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Journal.
Researchers found that these "checking habits" normally last about 30 seconds in 10 minute intervals. Users normally check email or other applications like Facebook.
What's the reason for the sometimes annoying and repetitive action? If you think the reason is obviously out of habit or compulsion, you are not alone. According to Loren Frank from UCSF, the habit is very common. "We don't even consciously realize we're doing it; it's an unconscious behavior."
Frank suggests that checking your email is rewarding in the sense that whenever you receive certain emails you may feel you're an important person or it may simply feel as something new.
Clifford Nass, a communication professor from Stanford, suggests that checking our gadgets is a way to lose tension and not think hard but at the same time feel that you are getting something done, as reported by CNN. "People don't like thinking hard," he says.
Although checking the smartphone multiple times a day may be considered harmless like asking what time it is, it should be considered seriously.
According to Antti Oulasvirta, senior researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, "research is starting to show the association between smartphone use and grave consequences like car accidents and poor health in work-life balance," as reported by msnbc.com.
The worst part of it all is that "habits are not easy to change," Oulasvirta added.