Even though it’s dangerous, many American drivers continue to use their smartphones while behind the wheel.
Compulsion — even addiction — are appropriate terms for the nearly irresistible urge to respond to a text message, even while driving, an expert said.
“We compulsively check our phones because every time we get an update through text, email or social media, we experience an elevation of dopamine, which is a neurochemical in the brain that makes us feel happy,” said David Greenfield, an expert on “technology addiction.”
Besides the danger of texting while driving, could you benefit from going on a “digital diet?” Here’s a link to a test on Greenfield’s Center for Internet and Technology Addiction web site.
The site says more than three or four “yes” answers out of 12 questions indicate “digital distraction.” (I scored 10 out of 12. Honestly, it probably should have been 11 out of 12.)
Earlier this month, AT&T released a study Greenfield conducted earlier this year. Not for nothing, AT&T is using the study to promote its new DriveMode app, and a public-service campaign called ItCanWait. DriveMode turns on automatically when the phone moves faster than 15 mph, and turns off again after stopping.
The app silences incoming text message alerts, and automatically responds to incoming text messages, so the sender knows the text recipient is driving.