Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.

Samsung woes show how dependent we've become on smartphones

Tethered as we are to our smartphones, Samsung asking users of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 to "power down and stop using the device" is not just an inconvenience. It's crazy.

Smartphones have become extensions of ourselves, the last thing we look at before falling asleep and the first thing we grab in the morning. Abandoning them is all but unthinkable, even at the dinner table, even on the toilet.

Risking a battery fire might seem like a small price to pay for obsessively checking your latest Instagram "likes," catching up on email, Skyping your grandkids across the country, getting directions, confirming your travel itinerary, reading the news,...