People more attached to tech than relationships

This Valentine’s Day, some people may be finding comfort in something colder than the arms of their significant other.

According to a recent survey by Logitech, 43 percent of the 2,000 single adults surveyed said they would be equally upset by a broken iPhone or iPad and a relationship break up.

Laurie Bonnici, assistant professor for the School of Library and Information Studies, said she believes today’s younger generation is more than attached to their technology, and it is something essential to their lives.

“You don’t think of them as devices for you guys. They are more like an extension of your being,” Bonnici said. “It’s like your second right hand.”

She said if technology was taken away from this generation, it would be more like a disability. Young people would not know how to communicate with friends or find their way around town.

“Technology is relied on,” Bonnici said. “This generation counts on it.”

Alexandria Thomas, a freshman majoring in anthropology, said she admits she is very reliant on her phone.

“I’m very attached to my phone,” Thomas said. “The first thing I do in the morning is check the weather on it. I’d be upset if it broke, but I’d get over it because it’s replaceable.”

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However, Bonnici said she definitely agrees that technology is more easily replaced than a significant other.

“With a breakup, you may have a grieving process, and you may eventually go and find someone else,” Bonnici said. “But you can just go buy a new phone at any time.”

A 2012 USA Today survey reported that 31 percent of those surveyed said it would be harder to give up their cellphone for a day than their significant other.

But when it comes to choosing between either technology or romance, Caitlin Baggett, a freshman majoring in psychology, said she would rather give up technology for 24 hours.

“I’d rather go a day without technology, just because my boyfriend goes to college in Georgia, and I’d do anything to see him,” Baggett said.

According to the Mobile Mindset Study conducted by the security app Lookout, 60 percent of U.S. smartphone owners claim to check their phones at least once an hour. Young adults are the most addicted, with 63 percent of women and 73 percent of men ages 18-34 claiming they do not go an hour without checking their phones.

Baggett and Thomas both feel the compulsive need to constantly be in touch with their electronic devices, whether its checking Twitter, Instagram or even the local weather. Both admit to checking their phones at least several times an hour.

“I’d rather be with my girlfriend than with technology,” Wyatt Bailey, a freshman majoring in biology, said. “I’m not very attached to technology. I really only use it when I need to.”

Despite her attachment to technology, Bonnici said she does not view it as an addiction.

“It’s like alcohol,” she said. “It’s not an addiction unless you are using technology enough where it is affecting your life in a negative way. If it’s not excessive, then it’s just enhancing your life and experiences.”

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