ASU tech professor weighs in on the dangers of phone

Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-10 00:44:46-05

People across the country are embracing National Unplug Day, and taking a 24-hour digital detox. 

So often checking email, scrolling through Facebook or simply opening an app, is mindless. It's become second-nature in our society. 

According to a Pew study, we're spending 20% of our days glued to the glow. 

"We need to have a good, long talk with ourselves and our devices and reassess things," said Matt Sopha, clinical assistant professor of information systems in the W.P. Caray School of Business at ASU. 

Sopha isn't saying technology is the problem, but rather how it stimulates us and how often we rely on it. 

"There is this instant gratification of being rewarded with new content, simply by swiping refresh," he said. 

Psychologists have started treating people who are addicted to the internet. 

Doctors said there is a dopamine-type of hit that occurs in people's brains when their phone lights up. It becomes problematic when you can't balance technology and your day-to-day life.

Sopha has some advice for changing your habits. 

"You can change the color scheme, so it's black and white, instead of being in color, because some say we're more attracted to the color," he said. 

Turning your notifications off, turning your phone off before you go to bed, and locking your phone in your trunk or compartment of your car while you drive, are all small shifts you can make to change your habits.

"It's like detoxing," Sopha explained. "It is a good thing because it does raise awareness for a bigger issue."