Anna Evaldsson och Charlotte Åbyhammar

Living without mobile apps - difficult or liberating?


A major part of the population of Sweden owns a smartphone. Always having a smartphone available benefits the user in several ways, but in recent years numerous of negative effects have been observed. Stress caused by the inability to handle the technology in a healthy way and the risk of developing a technological addiction are two of the proven consequences of an excessive smartphone use.

The purpose of this study is to, by performing a deprivation study, examine if the smartphone users of this study are addicted to the phoneÕs smart functions and if the smartphones contribute to making them feel stressed. By depriving the users the ability to use the smart functions and have them keeping diary of their experiences, we have tried to see how the smartphone and the deprivation from itÕs features affect the users. Along with surveys and interviews, results regarding the users experienced technology addiction and stress level have been found.

The results show that every participant in the survey feels dependent on and addicted to their smartphone and that the phone in certain extent contributes to a feeling of stress. We have found that the experienced addiction comes from a sense of both a need and a desire to use the smartphone. The study shows that the experienced stress among the users occur with, as well as without, access to the smart features.

Thanks to the deprivation the participants have started to reflect upon their smartphone usage. We believe that it is important to reflect on the usage to become aware of the potential stress and smartphone addiction. The reflection needs to be done to get motivated to change what could be an unhealthy behavior.