Are You Addicted to Your Smart Phone?

Smartphone addiction is an increasingly serious phenomenon which some psychologists argue has reached epidemic proportions. Listen to these fascinating videos and complete the accompanying independent learning tasks to learn more, and to discover whether you are an addicted smartphone user.  




Task A1, True / False / Not given Comprehension Questions

Watch the following video as often as you like:

Video 1 - Smart Phone Addiction

Video ©According To Jez(

Task A2, Sentence Completion Matching Exercise

Watch and listen to Video 1 as many times as you like.

Task B1, MC Vocabulary Questions

Watch and listen to the video as many times as you like.

Video 2 - The Smartphone: Your Ego in your Hand!

Video ©LACK78 (

Task B2, Short Answer Comprehension Questions

Without looking at the audio script, watch and listen to video 2 as many times as you like.

Task B3, Vocabulary Revision activities

Complete as many of the revision activities and games as you like:

Task C1: News Report: Cell Phone Addiction on the Rise

Watch the following link one or two times:

Video 3 - Cell phone addiction

Video ©ABC15 Arizona (

Now listen to the video again.

Task C2: Australian News Report: Trapped by Internet Addiction

Watch the following link one or two times:

Video 4 - Trapped by internet addiction. (Sunrise)

Video ©SunriseOn7(

Smart Phone Addiction(British)

Hello. I'm completely addicted to, this thing.

    What? The suit? Yeah, I’m heading straight to work once I finish recording this video, so I’m making it quick.

    I’m completely addicted to this because I realize last week when this thing broke how much it runs my life. And I mean that in both the best way and the worst way possible. ‘Cause the thing is, last weekend they updated to the latest O.S, which I think was IOS 6.0.2 or something like that, I don’t really know. I put it into my computer and it said, ‘Hey, there’s an update, Do you want to update?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah! Go for it!’ And half an hour later, the update failed. And as a result of this failed update, I lost everything that was on my phone that wasn’t a part of an i-Cloud backup.

    That wasn’t the worse part of it. The worst part about it by far was having to leave the house without my phone while it recovered all my stuff from a previous backup. ‘Cause it’s not only apps and stuff I have on this thing. I have my music. I have my Twitter, which is the most important thing, obviously. And it is also a device that I occasionally use for blogging in an emergency.

    But not only that, but in a blog earlier this week I did say that, that phone is my lifeline to the world that I care about when I am away from the world that I care about which as terrible as it sounds, that world is: the internet. ‘Cause on the evening that the update failed, I went to the takeaway. You know how it is when you’re in an awkward situation when there’s no one else around you’re just kind of sat there waiting, and you grab your phone and you stand or sit there scrolling up and down the screen, whether there’s anything on it or not, you scroll up and down the screen.

    So I’m sat there in the takeaway waiting for me stuff and I realize, “I don’t have my phone with me ‘cause it broke. And that 10 or 15 minutes felt like 45 minutes to an hour. ‘Cause the only thing that I had to occupy my overactive brain was the takeaway menu. And if I previously didn’t know what was on that menu and the prices I definitely do now because I must have read it through at least 8 times, including all the side orders like extra toppings for your pizza for 60p a piece.

    But most importantly I couldn’t be a part of the conversation on Twitter. And yes I am completely addicted to Twitter. ‘Cause I think the thing with Twitter is it’s kind of like you’re in this big hall of people that you know or at least you know a little bit about and you’re overhearing parts of the individual conversations from left, right and centre. And at any moment you have the ability to jump into that conversation and join it. But it takes skill. Because you have to be able to inject yourself into that conversation in a hundred and 40 characters or less, so you have to be smart about what you say and how you say it. And without using ‘text speak’.

    So it’s safe to say that that journey to and from the takeaway and just sat in the takeaway was murder. ‘Cause on the way there and back I didn’t have my music, so I had to listen to the radio on a Friday night. Who listens to the radio on Friday night?!! There’s literally nothing on that I wanted to listen to and I was skimming through four different radio stations constantly to try and find a song that was remotely listenable. Listenable? Is that even a word? So, when all else fails, I have the backup plan.
The only CD I have in my car is Josh Woodward. Of course it is the only CD I have which is now on my floor. Next time there is a news story that we’re addicted to these things, don’t scoff. Don’t laugh. Just embrace it.

    But when it breaks, make sure you swear at it at least 8 times a minute. Because from experience, it is the only thing that will get it working again.

    So guys, easy question of the day for you today. Let me know down in the comments below what you are addicted to. And if it’s any hard core street drugs, then you really shouldn’t be commenting on You Tube videos. You should probably be in rehab about that.

    As always, thank you for watching. My name is Jez and I’m going to be late for work so I will see you again next Friday. In the meantime follow me on Twitter… This is my life according to me…

The Smartphone: Your Ego in your Hand!

     The Smartphone: A consumer communications device of science fiction style awesomeness. It combined so many communications media and entertainment forms in one place, including a computer. It's also many things at once and they are all available in the palm of your hand instantly. However, they may have also ensnared one other important thing inside these impressive little handsets: the human ego.

     I've spoken a great deal about the dangers of Facebook and social media, specifically how it devalues and replaces real face-to-face human interaction, leads to social isolation and depression. To briefly recap, a growing phenomenon is ‘Facebook envy’ which studies have demonstrated as born out of the fact that users tend to display only one side of themselves online, which is to say an unrealistically positive and overly happy side. They upload pictures of things like holidays, nights out with friends, birthdays, etc, and they tend to omit the less glamorous side of their lives. A person's Facebook account is a kind of virtual measurement of their social capital and success and this is quantified and broadcast to the world through the number of friends they have, their achievements their photographs and their witty, clever and obnoxiously upbeat status updates.

     Facebook envy emerges because users spend an enormous amount of time simply browsing all other people's Facebook profiles and comparing and contrasting their social media capital. Users tend to overestimate the happiness of other people and, therefore, Facebook can become a depressing place to visit sometimes, and there is a growing body of evidence to support this. One alarming finding is that addicted users tend to experience a similar high in their brain when receiving notifications, as a gambler does when they place a bet. Additionally I've also spoken about Smartphone addiction and I’ll include a link to that video and the Facebook videos in the description below.

     Smartphone addiction is particularly worrying and it ties directly into the topic of this video. That compulsion you get to check your text messages, emails or social media accounts is very common, and a quick glance around in a social setting like a restaurant, park or pub, and you'll soon be made aware that it's reached epidemic levels. People seem to be talking to each other less and communicating with each other through their devices instead. I'd need several pairs of hands to count how many times I've seen a couple sitting across from each other in a restaurant engrossed in their phones talking to each other and their friends on Facebook.

     It's not just that Smartphones provide us with the means by which to entertain ourselves, conduct work, find out about what's happening in the world or communicate with others and reach our friends and family. It's when you combine social media into the mix you've got something entirely more sinister, a means by which users can not only escape reality into an emotionally and mentally detached observation mode that removes them from the moment, but one in which they can focus entirely on themselves and seek the validation of others to reinforce their insecurities and replace real communication with likes, shares, pins, tweets, re-tweets, comments friend invites and tags.

     To put it bluntly, the Smartphone is all about the individual; all about checking in to see what others are saying about ME. We all know someone who indulges in this behavior, people who second screen in front of the television, which has got to take its toll on concentration levels. People whose attention spans drift off mid-conversation to compulsively reach for their phone, often for no good reason. I've heard plenty of stories of marriages and relationships being affected by this behavior. I personally find it a repulsive and sickening development that so many people attending things like concerts or sports events to do nothing more than take and upload pictures and tweet about how great a time they're having, when in truth they're simply not fully invested or engaged with the spectacle at all.

     It seems Smartphones make people spectators and not participants in their own lives, as the moment becomes something to merely document and not truly experience. For example, at concerts or even at your child's school play, you may see people holding up their phone to record the event. This is not the same as watching the event unfold. It's the belief that if you can’t provide proof that something happened and it's not recorded online or on your Smartphone, then it's as good as a fantasy or a dream. How delightfully post-modern. Hell, people can't help themselves from checking their phone even in the cinema, at a wedding or in funerals.

     But more than that, I find it most troubling in terms of what Smartphones do to friendships. With the advent of social media the word ‘friend’ has become a gray area. These devices allow people to consolidate their friends into numbers, email addresses, and virtual friends all in one convenient place in the palm of their hands.

     You know what's ironic? Chat forums were designed to allow like-minded people to develop friendships not just online but also in the real world. And now technology seems to be allowing us to keep people at a distance and turn real world friendships into virtual ones. By keeping people at a distance, the user is able to dip in and out of friendships, ramp up and down the intensity of them, and exert greater control of the dynamics of how people impact on their lives. In short, people don't have to commit emotionally and physically to a friendship in a meaningful way anymore. Smartphones provide an out for them to effectively manage the depth of the relationships. Face-to-face interaction in a social setting seems to be a secondary means by which to communicate. It's become a shallow veneer of what it once was.

     Now I know what many of you may be thinking: ‘Dave Smartphones and tablet computers are a great way of getting work done and the best way of managing our busy lives. But as Sherry Turkle said in her fabulous video ‘Alone Together’, computers, and in this case Smartphones, are keeping us busy, not the other way around. It seems the more technology we add into our lives, the last time and energy we actually have for each other. The more stress we introduce, the more complexity and the more demands on our attention and focus to keep up with the latest trends and stay connected.

     You can't tell me life is now BETTER because of these devices. Although mobile phones are great for emergencies, they have become an almost bionic prosthetic designed to augment reality and in doing so, remove us from it.

     And so guys, I will throw this discussion over to you. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. Looking forward to your comments, and I will see you in the next video. Bye Bye.

News Report: Cell Phone Addiction

Katie:On Health Alert tonight: Cellphone addiction on the rise. Experts say it's just like being addicted to drugs or even alcohol and it should be taken seriously. How do you tell if you’re of addicted, though? Do you have anxiety about going phoneless? Are you unable to turn your cell off and do stress about running out of battery power? Constantly looking for new emails and text messages and calls, or do you use your phone, in the bathroom? If so… you could be an addict and while it might not be toxic to you liver, it could be damaging, really damaging to your relationships. ABC 15 Susan Casper joins us now with what you can do. Susan we've all been a dinner with that person who just has their phone right there.
Susan: They have their head down and they are not paying any attention to you whatsoever.
Katie: Right.
Susan: Well, it isn’t just your relationship suffering, Katie. Studies show the more technology and stimulation the less focus. Just think about the last time you left home without your phone. If you got that panicky feeling, you may want to take these simple steps like turning off your phone while driving. Pick one evening a week – it sounds sample – that the cell phone gets turned off a dinner time and it stays off until the next morning. Once a month, go outside, enjoy nature. Simply unplug. And keep a journal where you write down your feelings and reactions to turning off your phone. I recently sat down with psychologist, Dr. Christina Liebowitz and she told me, if you're overly reliant on your cell phone, or social media in general, it could affect your daily activities.
Dr. Christina Liebowitz: It just calls into question, you know, that person's level of impulse control, and their judgment and self-control and it’s time to look at, you know, how they're functioning in general.
Susan: I was really kind of shocked to hear this there are even rehab programs helping you recognize the signs and symptoms. And Katie, have you heard the term ‘nomaphobia’
Katie: I have not.
Susan: You have a not. Well it was coined by Reteurs researchers. I hadn’t either. It denotes people who experienced anxiety when they had no access to mobile technology such as a cell phone.
Katie: Yeah it’s hard though, especially when you’re a parent, or you have a job that keeps in touch, you kind of have to, I guess. This is even more extreme than that, when you’re starting to have anxiety over it.
Susan: Well they, like, Nomophobes are considered twenty hours or more a day.
Katie: Oh! My gosh. Ok. That's nowhere near what…
Susan: But you know, I do feel that way sometimes you want to unplug.
Katie: Yeah.
Susan: Just get rid of the phone.
Katie: Oh. Sure do. All right. Thank you Susan. I won’t text you later on today. I’ll let you
Susan: Ok.
Katie: …unplug….

Trapped by Internet Addiction (Australian)

In studio:
Female reporter: Uhh, If you can’t put down your iphone, or you feel the need to constantly update your Facebook status, you could have a legitimate mental illness. Internet addiction will be included in a manual of mental health disorders by The American Psychiatric Association next year.
Male reporter: In a moment we'll be joined by two experts here in the studio but first real-life example from Dr. Nancy Snyderman.
Operator: 9:11
Brooke McSweeney: Hi, I need you guys to send an officer to my house.
Field Reporter: This is the voice of a desperate mother in Fishers Indiana.
BM: Yeah, he’s just crying and really upset.
Field Reporter: Her seventeen year old son, Chris, turned violent when she took away his computer, so Brooke McSweeney called the police.
Field Reporter: So, he put a hole in this wall?
BM: Yeah.
Field Reporter: Brooke says her son is an addict, hooked not on drugs or alcohol but internet games.
Field Reporter: How can you decide that it’s an addiction and not just a habit or something that an adolescent boy is going through?
BM: Because his whole demeanor has changed. His whole personality, like his, he’s just a different person. He can’t uhm, leave the game.
In studio:
Male reporter: Uhmmm…
Female reporter: Let’s bring in the editor of CNET Australia Shamus Burn and psychologist.
Collette Smart: Good morning to you both.
Shamus and Collette: Good morning.
Female Reporter: Now Shamus, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports 60% of adults go online daily.
Shamus: Uhm.
Female reporter: That’s, not so bad. What are the telltale signs though of internet addiction?
Shamus: yeah, I think the biggest thing is you know disconnecting with your real life, I think that’s that's kind of one of the most fundamental things. You know if people are starting to pull away from their job, you know, more sick days all those kinds things 'cause they just spending so much time online at that, that they're losing that real connection with uh... with the people that that they spend time with, or how they make their money, all that kind of thing I think that the time spent online yeah, unless it's incredibly extreme, I think that's not so much problem as how they are disconnecting and are they feeling emotionally kind of you know like anxious and moody and things and that that only feels relieved when they actually get back on the internet.
Female Reporter: Uhm…
Male Reporter: Yeah, right. Now Collette, you deal with this in your own practice, uh... when we're talking online, I mean are the people getting addicted to games or is it social networking or is it pornography? What are they spending their time online doing?
Collette: I think it's a whole range of things. You mentioned the diagnostic manual before, and we know internet addiction is not listed in the diagnostic manual, but it’s certainly being considered because we've seen a range of things from the problematic to pathological type of gaming or internet behaviour where, as Shamus said, it’s taking away from other areas of your life that are extremely important. And so we’re even seeing now with neuro signs, we’re seeing, uh, brain imaging where we can observe through that, changes in the brain structure and the brain function of very heavy gaming users.
Female Reporter: Right.
Collette: Although anybody who’s heavy, heavily using the internet, not just gamers.
Male Reporter: well this is fascinating isn’t it? Because there was a specialist last year visiting us here in Australia who was talking about exactly this same thing, saying that when you don’t have enough face-to-face contact, your brain rewires itself so as not to be able to read people’s…
Collette: Yep,
Male Reporter: …faces…
Collette: Yes
Female Reporter: really?
Male Reporter: I mean that can have a serious impact therefore on your relationships, can’t it?
Collette: Yep, and, and we call it ‘the compulsion loop’. So basically what happens is it’s almost like the virtual carrot being dangled. So, uh uh it’s a never-ending story. So like when you read a book, you finish a book or finish a series of books, and there’s an ending. On the internet, there is no ending. So it’s this compulsion and getting to the carrots and once you reach the carrots there's another promise of another reward and so it’s kind of always open-ended. And that's kind of the issue when people really can never get off it.
Male Reporter: It’s a vacuum farm of carrots.
Female reporter: So, how do you treat these?
Collette: Well, good psychologists who specialize in areas of uhm internet addictions or problems or problematic behaviours will be able to give you skills in how to uhm, allow the internet to be controlled by you rather than it control you. Uhm, so you have the control. Even in the U.S. now we’ve actually seen the first residential programme which is similar to the way we treat other uh addictions and disorders, we see that happening in the U.S. now.
Male Reporter: Shamus, just quickly before we go…would it be possible technologically speaking, that if you say were on one site for more than, I don’t know, 4 hours, that that site would instantly, you know, automatically give you a pop-up saying, ‘Do you want a log out now?’
Shamus: I mean some of the like Net Nanny type tools that are out there you know that a parent can install on a computer, you can set those up so that they limit specific amounts of time per programme, so you can kind of set these things up. And you know I think when it comes to kids, you know, this comes back to that fundamental thing of don’t just let your kids just use computers however they please. Set limits, set guidelines and stick to them so that you can actually ensure that they’re balanced in how they use it rather than just disappearing uh into other worlds.
Collette: Stick to the age limits. please parents. They’re there for a reason and maintain good sleep hygiene. Get the computers and technology out at night, that’s one of the biggest things we say to parents.
Male Reporter: Did you hear that boys? No more than ten hours a day of Mine Craft and Sky Room. That’s what the doctors said.
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