THE BLOG
06/25/2013 05:41 pm ET | Updated Aug 25, 2013

How New iPhones Are Like New Girlfriends

By Mai Garti-Bar

You're there at all my meals, when I wake up, when I go to sleep, practically at every moment of the day. You do all the little favors I ask of you, and keep me on track. Sometimes I just don't know how I'd manage without you. If I called you my significant other, I wouldn't be completely off base.

The protagonist of this CollegeHumor short entitled "New iPhones are like New Girlfriends", Jim, is representative of the average Joe and his relationship with the smartphone. Since the release of the first generation in 2007, the iPhone has been stealing the hearts and consuming the time of men and women alike across the globe.

Some think this extreme usage and integration into our day-to-day lives categorizes many people's relationship with the iPhone as an "addiction" or "obsession". In 2010, two Taiwanese psychiatrists diagnosed a new mental disorder deemed "iPhone Addiction Disorder," which they state is cousin to the already diagnosed "Computer Addiction Disorder." Some psychologists suggest that when we use our smartphones, we could be potentially tapping into the same associative learning pathways in the brain that make other compulsive behaviors addictive. And, as is the nature of addiction to a substance (whether it be a food or chemical compound), the culprit for these good-feelings is the neurotransmitter dopamine.

But author Martin Lindstrom presented evidence contrary to these assertions. He conducted an fMRI experiment in 2011 (in collaboration with the San Diego-based firm MindSign Neuromarketing) to find out whether iPhones were truly addictive. He recruited 16 test subjects, eight men and eight women between the ages of 18 and 25 and subjected them to audio and video of a ringing and vibrating iPhone. When shown these clips, there was an eruption of activation in the insular cortex of the brain, which is associated with feelings of love and compassion. The subjects' brains responded to the sound of their phones as they would respond to the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend or family member, any "loved-one."

Looks like CollegeHumor hit the nail on the head with their new video: