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Smartphone Apps May Be Convenient, But They Can Also Be Addicting

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Some apps can be lifesavers, but others can be time wasters that leave you disconnected from the world.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, a gorgeous day in Bryant Park was not enough to pull some people off of their smartphones.

“I would say I spend too much time on Facebook,” Ashley Morris said.

There are so many apps available that some people lose count.

“Oh wow, more than I thought, 65. I guess I don’t use about 30 of them,” Morris said.

Some people overuse those apps to the point of addiction.

“If we get attached to these applications it can actually have dilatory consequences for us long-term,” Scott Bea, Psychologist, Cleveland Clinic, said.

Bea said the danger exists in living a virtual life and not lifting your head up to engage with others in the real world. This is often seen in parents who are present, but not engaged, when out with their children.

“When it starts to infiltrate other parts of your life, when you can’t sit and watch a half-hour sitcom, have a conversation with a friend. You’re having a meal in a restaurant and you cannot help but gravitate toward that app, then I think it’s problematic for you because it’s taking you away from real life,” Bea explained.

For Afiya Hosten, Instagram is the app of choice.

“I’ll be at an event or out and I’ll be on Instagram instead of enjoying what’s really happening,” she said.

If you need help breaking that addiction, well there is an app for that.

The ‘Pause’ app sets a timer and takes you off-line while you do something else like spend time with family, or enjoy a walk in the park.

Nielsen research has shown that the average smartphone user has 41 apps on their phone and spends about 40 minutes a day using them.

You can check your phone by going to ‘settings’, ‘general’, and ‘about’ to see how many apps are installed.

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