The Media Maven: Are We Too Dependent On Our Smartphones (And Apps)?

By Rachael Smith, Alumna of Radford University

If someone gave you the choice of either giving up your mobile apps or giving up drinking water, which would you choose?

A recent study by Apigee says that 85 percent of those surveyed say they would rather give up drinking water than to delete all of their apps, and 82 percent said they can’t go one day without their crucial apps.

I don’t have a smartphone, but after reading some of these findings, I just may not ever get one. My best friend from college came to visit me this past weekend to catch up and go out for a good time. A short while after she arrived, she had to show me a new app she had found out about recently.

“It’s addicting,” she told me.

The app was one called “Tinder,” and its purpose is to basically look at pictures of the opposite sex and either "X" them or "Heart" them. If someone else "Hearts" you, then it is a match and you can message one another. The app even tells you how many miles away that person is from you.

For whatever reason, I could see how this app could be used in times of boredom. Maybe while on the bus to school or waiting for an appointment, but not while visiting your best friend. My friend was constantly on this app, and I could not wrap my head around why she couldn’t put down her fourth screen.

Other findings from the Apigee study — which compiled information from smartphone users in France, Germany, Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. — were that 32 percent of surveyors could not wake up without an app, 18 percent of the French wouldn’t be able to order dinner without an app and some said they use up to 50 apps a day alone.

It’s interesting to me as a 90s kid that grew up being entertained by Barbies, Disney films and just simply playing outside, that young kids these days have nicer phones than I do as an adult. They sit at the dinner table with them playing games and have no idea what is going on around them.

According to the Apigee study, 75 percent of respondents said the appropriate age to receive your very first smartphone would be between 12 and 16 years old. Shockingly, 2 percent of Germans said a 1-year-old should own one, and only 6 percent of those in the U.S. and Spain say parents should make their kids wait until they are 18 years old before giving them a smartphone.

And we all know by now that it is dangerous to text while driving, but now with apps, people are driving and app-ing! A whopping 53 percent of drivers all over the world admit to using apps behind the wheel.

This is just ridiculous, people!

I completely understand that apps are meant to help smartphone owners in daily life, but how do you think our parents and grandparents made it along the way? If you didn’t have apps or even a smartphone, it would not be life or death.

What do you think? Are people too dependent on their apps or smartphones?

Image courtesy of Ambro /

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