Computer science faculty member Caglar Yildrim researches nomophobia (fear of being without a smartphone) and related technology questions.

"Here at SUNY Oswego, my research actually, or my research agenda incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to studying how digital technologies affect human cognition, behavior and well being, and as well as how we can utilize digital technologies to actually support and promote human cognition and positive behavioral change, as well as improve overall well being," Yildrim said. "That line of research includes some studies that actually look at how smart phone separation might affect our sustained attention performance. So if you're separated from your smart phone, are you thinking more about your smart phone and then that impacts your sustained attention performance or is it the other way around?"

Earlier this year, CNN reached out to him for a piece the news network was doing about studies on people becoming dependent on smartphones.

"They cited my previous work on nomophobia, which stands for no-mobile phone phobia," Yildrim explained. "It's a modern age phobia, and it refers to the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, so the feelings of anxiety when people cannot use their smart phones or the services they offer. So I do believe one of the most important implications of this line of research in smartphone dependency is the realization that smart phones are actually psychologically powerful tools that can change the way we think, feel, and behave."

However, he discards a narrative that looks at technology as a modern problem outside of the greater context.

"Smart phones in particular, they are not in themselves bad or good, so it's the use that determines what comes out of it," he noted. "We have just concluded one study that looked at that specific question. Data analysis is not done yet, so when we have analyzed the entire dataset, it will be interesting to look at what we find out from that one."