Why does it seem that smartphones are dumbing down our society?
"Crackberries" may no longer be in fashion, but the phone addiction for many is stronger than ever.
The average American spends upwards of four hours a day on their phone. We're using them so much that 12% of adults admit to using their smartphones in the shower.
Sure, everyone's got an excuse about why they need their phone more than everyone else.
And whether we're with friends, family or by ourselves, many of us are obsessed.
In fact, when VitaminWater offered $100,000 to someone willing to trade in their smart phone for a flip for one year, many said no.
Science journalist Catherine Price tells us, "I think too often we conflate productivity with being in front of some sort of screen."
Price’s new book, "How to Break Up With Your Phone," shows how these devices are designed to addict us.
"The four-week phone breakup plan is four weeks designed to help you identify what you actually want your relationship to look like and to help you get there,” Price tells us, “And along the way, to help you retrain your brain so that your focus and attention span can get back to where they used to be."
We tested her 30-day plan to curb the compulsion with our 6 and 11 o'clock news producers, Meg and Monique, who both admit they're addicted to the dopamine rush.
Meg says, "I would say wholeheartedly, yes. I am anxious when I'm not near my phone. I feel like I need to be reachable at all times."
Monique tells us, "I never want to walk into a meeting being like, 'I have no idea what's going on today'."
So that meant the breakup was on.
Week one is called "The Triage." This means paying attention to habits and deleting social apps.
Week two was for changing habits, including changing where you charge it and establishing no-phone zones.
This week is where Meg struggled, and met with the author to help her along.
"My attention was kind of divided. My attention was on my phone, scrolling through social media, and I was also reading him books or whatever we were doing," she told us.
Meg wasn't quite unplugged just yet.
Week three was for reclaiming your brain, including pausing before reaching for your phone, and a 24 hour trial separation.
In week four, you need to acknowledge your new relationship. That means solidifying phone practices and the plan to sustain them going forward.
Price says success means making your phone a tool, and not a temptation.
"Our brains are constantly changing in response to the stimuli,” Price tells us. “If you do anything for four hours a day, it'll change your brain."
So did this detox do the job?
"I get on my phone now because I want to or need to, versus a habit of picking it up and aimlessly scrolling,” Monique shares.
Even Meg, who admits she sometimes put phone before family now says, "I think everyone should try this, even if you think you can't do it. I didn’t think I could do it."
"If you feel your phone is having negative impact on you in any way but you still can't change your habits, then that's not a good sign,” Price says.
And that’s when you should hang up on bad habits.