Have you ever heard someone complaining that everyone’s addicted to their smartphones? Or the TV? Or technology in general? Add smartwatch addiction to the list. This is the latest hot topic, and we’re investigating how real these complaints are.
Whenever smart tech breaks into the mainstream, consumers are quick to embrace it. If the tech has capabilities that make life easier, users will start implementing the processes into everyday life to make daily tasks easier. But does this signal addiction? Or just forward progress?
Keep reading to learn more about smartwatch addiction and if there’s any science backing these claims up.
What Is Smartwatch Addiction?
Simply put, smartwatch addiction is defined by users becoming reliant on their smartwatches. This definition also includes compulsive use or use that negatively affects the user’s life and personal relationships.
Some users like to proclaim they’re addicted to smartwatches when they continually purchase them, too. However, this isn’t a true addiction unless the tech is negatively impacting their finances, life or relationships.
The Evidence Behind Smartwatch Addiction
Unlike smartphone and gaming addictions, smartwatch addiction hasn’t been studied so intensively.
The impacts of wearable technology and the effects on human minds are still vague, and many of them are positive. However, it’s believed that wearable technology can cause compulsive behavior in some, especially when linked with health anxiety. One study found a 70 year old woman performed 916 smartwatch ECG scans in one year, leading to a health anxiety disorder diagnosis.
While this is an isolated case, many fitness tracker users report feeling compelled to track their steps, calories, and exercise metrics daily. Keeping track of your health is great, but not when it leads to excess mental stress and pressure to over-exercise.
It’s crucial to take these examples with a balanced view, as there’s an overwhelming amount of information and studies that proves benefits of wearable tech for our health and wellbeing.
Smartwatch vs Smartphone Addiction
It’s possible to be addicted to both smartwatches and smartphones, and both are characterized by negative or compulsive technology usage. Though similar, there are some key differences between the two.
Smartwatch addiction surrounds health tracking and notifications, whereas smartphone addiction is linked to entertainment, social media, and communication issues. Also, smartwatches are physically attached to your body, making them more difficult to ignore when receiving calls or messages.
Steps You Can Take
If you’re worried about your smartwatch use, there are some quick steps you can take to reduce and manage your smartwatch’s effects on your life. See some relevant tips below.
- Set limits on your notifications. Whether you turn them off completely or for some apps, this will reduce the frequency you check the wearable. You can also set specific times to check your watch to improve your focus.
- Take set breaks from wearing your watch. If you want to be present and engage in other activities, take your watch off to remove the temptation to check it. This is a popular option when around friends, working, or completing hobbies.
- Set boundaries with all technology. If you’ve noticed problematic behavior across different technologies, you might need to extend your boundaries to your phone and laptop, too.
- See a counselor or therapist for professional advice. A professional opinion can help you manage your relationship with technology via guidance and strategies.
Smartwatches are an amazing invention that allow us to monitor our health, messages, and more all in one place. These innovative creations bring an excess of benefits to our life. But without conscious boundaries, they can leave negative effects. Always be mindful of your technology use, and when in doubt take a measured break.
Last Updated on April 10, 2023
Isobel is a freelance copy and content writer who regularly contributes to Superwatches. Well-versed in all the ins and outs of the smartwatch industry. Isobel specializes in Fashion and design and is a First Class fashion design graduate.
Currently lives in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.