Twenty-four-year-old Luisa Dal Din is a self-proclaimed smartphone addict.

"It's almost like an accessory, like I quite like to have it on me. I'm alright... I'm fine if it's not there but I'd probably prefer to have it on me," she says.

The Hits Breakfast producer blames part of her addiction on her 5am starts.

"I try to go for a walk each day which is like 45 to an hour and not have my phone on me."


She's also downloaded an app called Break Free, to monitor her use.

"Basically it tracks how many times you unlock your phone or how long you're on it."

She says it tends to be in the mornings while she's at work and weekends where she's in the red.

"I'd say most of my friends are on social media or texting most of the day," she says.

"And also for my job, I do need to be on my phone, like emails and then finding content and that kind of thing. So there is a part of me that has to be on my phone but I don't need to be snapchatting with a filter for my job."

The little amount of research on technology addiction in New Zealand fascinates Auckland University of Technology student Boshra Haghighi.

It's what has prompted her to investigate further the smartphone and internet addiction after completing her masters on the subject in Malaysia.

"We have to understand and distinguish productive use and leisure time and how far it can go," Haghighi says.


"So we are looking into the usage pattern, the nature of use, what [the] user is actually doing online, how long they are spending online and if it can be considered [problematic] or not."

A recent study out of Nottingham Trent University investigated how thousands of digital alerts affected the mood of 50 participants over a five-week period.

That found out of more than half a million notifications, 32 per cent resulted in negative emotions.