Until a decade ago, people were chatting, reading books or napping in commuter trains and public buses. Today, almost everybody sitting beside you and in the opposite row of seats is holding a smartphone at nose level and absorbed in games, surfing websites, and tweeting in the train and bus. They are looking at their smartphones on the platform while waiting for their train to arrive. I occasionally bump into a pedestrian who is looking at their smartphone while walking on the street. This didn't happen with mobile phones. I don’t know whether it’s a social phenomenon unique to Japan or common to anywhere in the world. But to me, as someone who is in his eighties, it seems weird.
A Japanese TV programme described the ubiquitous phenomenon of those who cannot part with their smartphones anywhere or at any time “Internet dependence”.
What is the common English word to describe those who are heavily (or morbidly) dependent on their smartphones? Are they “Internet dependent,” as the TV calls them, “smartphone addicts,” or simply today’s normal smartphone users?
PS: There was an interesting article in connection with this question in the latest (November 26) New Yorker magazine under the title, “Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing? http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/internet-addiction-real-thing
I think “smartphone addict” is an archetype of "Internet addiction.”