Addictive nature of smartphones revealed

Lee Kyung-ok (right) gets a smartphone lesson from volunteer Lee Sodam, 22, in Seoul, South Korea. “I love texting,” the elder Lee says.

Matt Douma

COLUMBUS, Ga. -- When Adrian Weldon has a few minutes to spare, he's probably going to use them to text.

"I came here to kill time and text," he said, sitting at Lakebottom Park on a recent afternoon. "At least it's not driving and texting."

Weldon said he uses his phone mostly for texting, sending quick messages while he's at work and can't call people on the phone, and when he's bored. If you ask him if he's addicted, he says he's not sure. "My girlfriend says I am," he said.

If Weldon is addicted to his phone, he's not alone.

While addiction to apps or texting is not a recognized medical condition, there have been numerous studies produced on whether the technology causes more harm than good.

A study by Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that teens who spend a lot of time on texting or on social media are also more likely to use drugs or alcohol and get into fights.

Using a smartphone or computer just before bed can lead to sleep loss, according to a study from the National Sleep Foundation. But ignoring your phone can be difficult.

A recent article in the New York Times by author and brand consultant Martin Lindstorm claimed the top three most powerful affecting sounds in the world are baby giggles, the Intel chime and a vibrating phone.

Weldon confesses to feeling lost without his phone. He never turns it off.

"Even when it's charging, it's on," he said. "I left it once and went home on my lunch break just to get it."