Exploring Smartphone Addiction: Insights from Long-Term Telemetric Behavioral Measures


  • Chad Tossell US Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Philip Kortum Rice University
  • Clayton Shepard Rice University
  • Ahmad Rahmati Apple Corporation
  • Lin Zhong Rice University




Smartphones, Addiction, Human Behavior, Technology Social Factors.


This study examined smartphone user behaviors and their relation to self-reported smartphone addiction. Thirty-four users who did not own smartphones were given instrumented iPhones that logged all phone use over the course of the year-long study. At the conclusion of the study, users were asked to rate their level of addiction to the device. Sixty-two percent agreed or strongly agreed that they were addicted to their iPhones. These users showed differentiated smartphone use as compared to those users who did not indicate an addiction. Addicted users spent twice as much time on their phone and launched applications much more frequently (nearly twice as often) as compared to the non-addicted user. Mail, Messaging, Facebook and the Web drove this use. Surprisingly, games did not show any difference between addicted and non-addicted users. Addicted users showed significantly lower time-per-interaction than did non-addicted users for Mail, Facebook and Messaging applications. One addicted user reported that his addiction was problematic, and his use data was beyond three standard deviations from the upper hinge. This study provides unique insight, as use data in previous studies has been self-reported, and this study used a naturalistic, non-intervention data logging approach over the course of a year.




How to Cite

Tossell, C., Kortum, P., Shepard, C., Rahmati, A., & Zhong, L. (2015). Exploring Smartphone Addiction: Insights from Long-Term Telemetric Behavioral Measures. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), 9(2), pp. 37–43. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v9i2.4300