calories count

In less than 5 years we will be counting minutes off our phones

Fitbit for unplug smartphones

Every time I mention the term “phone addiction” and make the affirmation in the headline, my friends look at me like… What are you saying? You crazy? Is that you again trying to make the world a better place?

I remember having the same feeling when I used to talk about viral and buzz marketing and social media back in 2006 and how in 2009 we launched a book that ended up becoming a hit among all the entrepreneurs and business owners in the space.

Today, paradoxically, I found a new purpose which goes kind in the opposite direction. I firmly believe people, especially couples, are disconnected from each other due to smartphone addiction.

Did you know it took about 25 years to see a consumption drop in cigarettes and more than 50 years to become a socially negative perceived behavior. It’s crazy, after all of this I still smoke sometimes and I’m not the only one. #Quit

Well, the first study about phones linking to negative results was published back on 2005 (Bianchi and Phillips, Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale or MPPUS) tough it focused mainly on texting. Remember, the first iPhone was released in 2007 and will change the course of history forever Indeed, between the first mobile phone (Motorola, 1973) and the first iPhone not much happened because functionality was very limited. “Portability” was there somehow but it will our friend Steve Jobs who will change everything once again. 
The only highlight I found is that (August 1999) David N. Greenfield founds The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction (CITA).

In 20008 we already find more devices connected than humans beings (Patrick Tucker) and consumption starts growing exponentially.

… And in 2013

In 2007 Fitbit was launched and suddenly after few years almost everyone was counting calories. Funny right? It actually happens after the sugar epidemic boost our diabetes for almost 30 years.

June 2008, we find the first case of children are being treated for addiction to mobile phones (Spain) and in 2010, again our friend Steve Jobs said about the iPad: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

2012 is the boom of “digital detox” and the same year, Shambare, Rugimbana & Zhowa claimed that cell phones are “possibly the biggest non-drug addiction of the 21st century”. In September of the same year, phone addiction is on the rehab menu (Fox news article, Sept 2012).

It’s not by chance that the meditation and mindfulness industry attracted $260 million in investments since 2012 and generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year (The Meditation industry, SAGE BusinessResearcher 2018).

2013 and 2014, we incorporate new terms and buzzwords in our dictionary and above all, the media play an important role to spread the epidemic. It’s the year of new words like Phubbing, FOMO, etc.

April 2014, 60M views Look Up video by Gary Turk is released. More will follow.

Of course, let’s don’t forget about the NEW people I follow now (Tristan Harris (2014), Adam Alter (2017) and of course, Simon Sinek. Pls, don’t ask me WHY I follow these guys :-)


Hold on, Nov 2015, Essena O’Neill quits Instagram claiming social media ‘is not real life’ (First Instagram celebrity to quit)

May 2017, Momofuku Ko is the first restaurant prohibiting photography inside the restaurant [via eGullet] and the same year (August 2017), Le Pain Quotidien launched ”Disconnect to reconnect” campaign globally.

Pls, let’s do not forget Arianna Huffington. She launches the Thrive app (Oct 2017) to helps smartphone addicts monitor usage, block apps and tell friends to do the same. We know, by that moment, there are tons of apps like this in the market.

2018? what happens in 2018? Quit dopamine, breathe and be present…

I’m building a proper smartphone epidemic timeline. Would like to help?

Feel free to leave a comment if you want to help or have any suggestions. I have compiled more than 100 facts and milestones. Let’s fight this epidemic together and start getting ready to counting minutes off your phone. We have 2 years left!

Reading next

Smartphone Addiction: The new drug that is killing us softly…
5 Great Christmas Marketing Campaigns (and more) Highlighting The Smartphone Addiction Issue

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