Addiction is a Strong Word

We're not addicted to our phones and apps, we're just focused on efficiency.

Continuing with the theme of millennial habits, today's discussion revolves around "digital natives."

We grew up with personal computers, Internet, smart phones, and social media. Navigating a new app, a new platform or a new profile is a piece of cake. And, everyday there are new ideas on how to harness the power of the Internet to simplify our lives.

But, some critics say we take it too far. They say we're addicted! Like Jesse Pinkman to meth, or the entire cast of Mad Men to Scotch.

Scotch, scotch, scotch, schotchy, scotch, scotch

It's a word that I find troublesome. It's just so easy to say kids are "addicted" to their phones, apps, and staying connected with friends. Young people can come across as locked into the grid. They compulsively use Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, and even Uber to avoid face-to-face interaction at all costs.


But is it really addiction?

Most of this is nonsense

Addiction has a strong connotation of dependence. We depend on a lot — food, water, friendship, Mom — but does that mean we're addicted to these things? I hope not.

Okay, so there's more to the word addiction. It also entails symptoms of withdrawal.

I'll admit when I get into an awkward situation and my phone is dead and I can't play Candy Crush, I'm uncomfortable. But, this probably doesn't compare to actual, physiological withdrawal.

Uncomfortable is not "withdrawal".

So why do we get such a bad rap?

Technology, as we understand it today, is relatively new. At the risk of sounding like an old soul: we're still figuring it out. Still figuring out how to best use it and what boundaries should exist.

It can be frightening and disconcerting to those who aren't familiar, especially when entire industries like entertainment and retail change the way they do business.

But for generations native to the digital world, it's comfortable, efficient, and convenient. It's made out lives a lot easier and since we don't have anything to compare it to, we don't have the fear (or loss aversion) of change.

To us it's all the efficiency and ease, without knowing what the other world was like. Maybe that's addiction, but I guess that's just about perspective.

Tech isn't just about social networks or shopping or dating. It's about finding ways to make other things more convenient and easier.

It's becoming the go-to for finance. Even my parents were amazed that my siblings pay rent over an app, and never touch a physical check.

I don't know my brother's personal relationship with his landlord, but I can be pretty sure he's not scared to hand over the rent in person (James is 6'4'').

So, why go online? Because we're addicted? Is it because we are afraid of personal connection?

No! It's because it takes two seconds.

What else can be made easier?

Loaning money between family and friends can also be uncomfortable and it can be annoying. That's why I love Frank.

Using an online platform takes awkward meet-ups, annoying text messages and weird phone calls out of the equation. Frank's comfortable and social.

There's no need for writing a check, reminding people or withdrawing cash. Frank's super efficient.

Lastly, like a lot of apps, it's quick and easy. Just enter in your info, loan amount, interest rate and you're pretty much done. Everything's easy, everything is automated. What's more convenient than that?

So maybe I'm "addicted" to another app. Or maybe it's just convenient.

Time is Money

Free time is precious. There are probably a million other things I would rather do than any of the aforementioned chores.


(like getting a croissant with Jon, whoever he is)

When millennials choose to use an app or a website to handle their finances, they're not wasting time on the Internet; they're actually saving it.

And, so is Frank.

Frank: Sophie

Read more posts by this author.

Subscribe to The Frank Blog

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!