A day in the life of a mobile addict

My name is Dan Kricke, and I’m addicted to checking my iPhone. It certainly feels that way sometimes. But I’m not alone. According to a story on CNN.com, such addiction has even been chronicled in a journal with test subjects and everything. It’s the real deal.

But I wanted to see for myself how addicted I was. The journal story said the average person in their study checked their phone 34 times a day. Putting aside the fact that my own personal study was much less scientifically sound, I chronicled my own iPhone usage. The following is a glimpse into the day of an iPhone addict.

6:00 AM

Woke up 50 minute before my alarm. Opened one eye, grabbed my phone and tried, without my glasses, to see if I had any important emails. You know, the kind of important emails sent between when I went to sleep at midnight and now. It looks like mostly Groupon and LivingSocial offers. Back to bed.

6:50 AM

Alarm goes off and after turning it off I grab my phone to immediately recheck those emails. This time with glasses, so I can tell for sure nobody sent me a worthwhile missive while I slept. Check Facebook and Twitter and realize I need to follow more night owls so I have something entertaining to read when I wake up. Hop in to the shower. Not literally, that’d be weird.

7:30 AM

Heading out the door, make sure iPhone is in my right front pocket. I couldn’t get to work without my car keys, and no wallet would be strange, but I’m pretty sure I’d mentally shut down if I forgot my phone. So far so good. Check email and Twitter one last time before driving. I may be addicted but I’m good about not using the phone on the road.

7:50 AM

Did I hear my phone vibrate? Oh god what if it’s important? Can it wait ten minutes? They should have different level vibrations for how important your texts and emails might be. But how would your iPhone know how to prioritize importance? What a silly question, of course it would know.

8:00 AM to noon

At work, focusing seriously on tasks in what appeases to be an inbox of unending email. Nonetheless, pause every fifteen minutes briefly to refresh my personal mail in case anything new came in. Notice a few messages for Facebook alerts. I suppose I should check that, too. Couldn’t hurt.

Noon to 1:00 PM

Lunch time. It only counts as one check if you’re just staring at the phone while you eat, right?

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Back to work. iPhone in the pocket so I can truly focus and finish up strong in the last half of the day. Wait. Did it just vibrate? I thought I felt it vibrate. Checking iPhone. No new messages or email. Weird. Repeat this process once every half-hour or so during this period and actually be vindicated on one of the six checks, giving me mental clearance to believe my phone is constantly vibrating.

5:00 PM to midnight

Back home, where checking the iPhone is even more difficult despite it being totally unnecessary to do so. Checked email and Twitter five times within the span of fifteen minutes while watching a baseball game. In my defense, the White Sox are really bad at baseball right now.

Later in the evening while looking at Facebook on my laptop I grab my phone instinctively to check… Facebook. Even though as soon as I hit the icon on the home screen I knew what I was doing, I continued to browse on my phone for a few minutes, as if that somehow made the mental choice my brain opted to make slightly more acceptable. It does not.

Rough tally of iPhone checks throughout the day: 30? 40? 50? Too many?

Scientific conclusion: We’re all doomed.

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