I'm sitting in the stands over the weekend at my son's basketball game and I look around. Guess what I see? If you thought I was going to say parent cheering their kids on, you are right and wrong. I see some parents cheering and at least a dozen moms and dads typing away on their smart phones.
I'm convinced a growing number of U.S. parents find their iPhones more fun to play with than their kids. Look around the playground and you likely will agree with me. What's going on out there...are we becoming a nation of "Smartphoniacs?" Or are they making so many new, fun apps for our phones that it's getting more difficult to put them down?
The WSJ reports that while there hasn't been a formal study of Smartphoniacs in America (although there is one underway at the University of Florida), we know that between the second quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, the North American smart-phone market grew 78.7%. About 139.3 million smart phones were sold world-wide last year, and half of U.S. smart-phone users report using their devices more today than they did just three months ago.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my smart phone. There's nothing more exciting than turning boring wait time in the carpool line into catch-up-with-friends time by tapping into Facebook on my smart phone. But I fight with myself every day to draw the line on letting the phone steal my precious time with my kids. Maybe I feel that way because I now have teenagers and I see how their friends are becoming more interesting to them than their parents.
Here's how to tell if you are a smartphoniac: You have an irrepressible fear that you will miss something if you put it away. I assure you, you will miss something if you don't put your smart phone away. I've seen firsthand what you have missed -- your son scoring his first basket. So what do you think, can more parents just say no to smart phone addiction? Do you think we are going to find our country in need of Smartphonics Anonymous?