Companies to smartphone addicts: Put it down!

Smartphones to hurt relationships
Smartphones to hurt relationships

On a typical night, Erica Krepow, a 23-year-old retail associate from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, gets into bed around midnight and plugs her iPhone 6 into the charger, where she places it next to the pillow on her bed. She doesn't turn the phone off, put it on silent, or even vibrate. It stays on full volume.

For about 30 minutes, Krepow peruses Facebook and Instagram until she gradually falls asleep. Despite studies showing that lights emitted from electronics disturbs sleep, Krepow says it actually helps her fall asleep, "because it makes my eyes tired," she told CNBC.

Krepow is not alone. A new survey of more than 2,000 adults by Harris Poll on behalf of The Webby Awards, finds that 93 percent of millennials admit to using their phones in bed, nearly 80 percent in the restroom and 43 percent while stopped at a red light.

And not all are happy about this: Nearly half of those surveyed agreed they would be happier if they used their their phone less.

The smartphone "is doing so many great things, but people are still trying to figure out the best role for it," David-Michel Davies, executive director of Webby Awards. "There is a low level anxiety of how much we're connected all the time."

While many of those surveyed said they're using their smartphones to better to manage their health and to streamline tasks, they admit that those benefits may harming their relationships with others. More than half of those surveyed from the 18- to 34-year-old generation use smartphones while eating with their family, and 72 percent of all generations surveyed believe that relationships will be less authentic in 10 years because of technology.

"There's tremendous opportunity for bringing people together, but learning how to use it properly and etiquette will really develop over time," Davies said.

Enough already!

Millennials not so different when it comes to work: Survey
Dave Miller, plant manager of Independent Record Pressing in New Jersey, with a finished record.
Why millennials are buying more vinyl records

All of which leads to a recent campaign by JetBlue to get people to rethink their attachment to their phones.

The airliner recently released a documentary, "HumanKinda," which followed two individuals who were too busy and connected and helped them unwind and unplug. The documentary was heavily promoted on social media, and is designed to get consumers to think about how they spend their time.

" 'Busy' has become the natural answer when asked 'how are you?' " said Jamie Perry, JetBlue Airways' vice president of brand and product development. That contention is backed by a separate Harris Poll conducted for JetBlue that found 86 percent of Americans believe the nation has a busyness epidemic, and nearly one in three say they're too busy to disconnect from technology.

"Busyness was impeding the humanity and everyday lives of our customers and felt it was our duty to continue the conversation and champion a cultural shift," Perry said. "We'll explore similar cultural tension points for future campaigns as opportunities for JetBlue to continue inspiring humanity arise," he added.

JetBlue is not the only one.

Cathay Pacific Airways recently partnered with Mashable to create a social media hashtag called #OneDayOffline. The campaign brought together a group of strangers and confiscated their phones as they were encouraged to interact and engage without technology.

Webby Awards' Davies thinks society will eventually learn how to use tools in a way that's best suited for relationships with one another.

"We'll keep the stuff that works," he said. "That's generally how human beings have evolved and maintained relationships over time, so I would expect the same thing."