Analogue zeitgebers such as wristwatches and alarm clocks are essential for structuring everyday life. Since the dawn of the digital revolution – particularly since the advent of the smartphone – mobile phones have increasingly replaced analogue zeitgebers as a means of telling time. This functionality may prove problematic, in that it may contribute to the overuse of digital media (e.g. when checking the time turns into extended use of other smartphone utilities, including Internet-based applications). Of N = 3084 participants, 45% reported wearing a wristwatch and 67% used an analogue alarm clock. We observed that participants who reported using analogue zeitgebers used their mobile-/smartphone significantly less. Use of analogue zeitgebers may prove a practical tool for therapeutic and preventative interventions for problematic Internet use in an increasingly digital age.
Montag, C., Kannen, C., Lachmann, B., Sariyska, R., Duke, E., Reuter, M., & Markowetz, A. (2015). The importance of analogue zeitgebers to reduce digital addictive tendencies in the 21st century. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2015.04.002