Addictions are all around us

Smart phones pose major problem to City College students

February 22, 2010
by Jamie Santiago | Staff Writer

An addiction has overcome the City College campus and it can’t be cured by a bottle of pills or a trip to rehab. The only way to kick this addiction is to turn it off.

Many students are heavily addicted to their iPhones. They use them during breaks between classes, lunch, while waiting in line for the bathroom and even during class when the instructor isn’t looking.

“I use it at least 2,000 times a day. There’s so much to do on it,” says City College student Justin Villena. “Yeah, I am kind of addicted to it. It‘s like a drug, but legal.”

Those who don’t own an iPhone may wonder why people are addicted to using this device. There are thousands of iPhone apps, short for applications, available to download, including games, weather, horoscope, and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace just a simple click away.

“It does so many things that you can‘t really provide a good enough explanation why not to use it,” says Max McKee, Theaters major. “I got along without it before, but sometimes I leave it at home and I kind of feel weird without it. I feel like I can not do all the things I need to.”

Selam Bekele, an avid iPhone user, thinks the gaming and social networking
contribute to students’ addiction to iPhones.

“I canceled the Internet on my phone so that I wouldn’t be so addicted. And I’m not much of a gamer, but I would say those are the two biggest reasons: constantly checking our social networking sites for updates and playing games,” Bekele says.

But when is this constant use of iPhones too much?

Public relations major, Alina Bulgakova, believes that many people buy the iPhone because of the mass media’s influence.

“The media has a big effect on the people. They claim that it’s the best thing and people want it because the media tells them that it’s the coolest thing around and that you have to have it,” says Bulgakova.

Psychology professor Gayle Pitman says the constant use of iPhones and smart phones alike are easily replacing person-to-person communication.

“I think we’re already seeing the major effects of Web technology on our culture.
Even though we’re more ‘connected’ than ever, with e-mail, Facebook and text messaging, people are increasingly more isolated and lonely,” Pitman says.

According to psychology professor Grace Austin, one can be addicted to anything,
even an iPhone. She says that she has witnessed students’ reliance on their iPhone and the instantaneous connection to a person and the internet.

“Do I think some students are addicted? Yes,” says Austin.

However, she believes it’s up to the person to control this behavior.

“In psychology, we know that there is a level of maturation that suggests you need to be able to control your impulses. And you can’t do whatever you want to do all the time,” says Austin.

http://saccityexpress.com/2010/02/22/addictions-are-all-around-us/

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