Calling All Cell Phone Addicts

Could you be addicted your cell phone? Could you cope without it? If you have a mobile phone, is it a constant companion?

You're not alone. A new survey shows a growing dependence on mobile phones. According to this article from Reuters, the survey — which polled 106 students between the ages of 18-25 — revealed that:

  • Nearly 40 percent of people couldn't cope without their cell phone.
  • 90 percent said they take their cellphones everywhere (Isn't that the purpose of a cellphone?)
  • 35 percent said they used the devices to escape their problems.
  • 32 percent had made repeated attempts to cut down.
  • 14 percent said they were willing to lie about how much they used them.

Whether you buy this study depends on how broadly you define addiction. Those who define addiction strictly as a chemical dependence probably won't embrace the idea.

But, like a gambling or shopping addiction, I can imagine that for some people, cell phone use might spiral out of control. There does seem to be a good deal of cell phone abuse out there (talking while driving, calling your shopping companion who's in the next aisle, rude movie theater etiquette). And I'm sure lots of people are unable to put down their mobile leashes. 

While I appreciate the convenience and security of a cell phone, I don't share this particular afflication. Half the time, I forget to charge it anyway, and I prefer to catch up with a friend over coffee, rather than on the phone.

I am, however, totally addicted to the Internet. It shocks me sometimes to realize how much of my life is now spent online. I pay bills, get DVDs, read the news, communicate with friends, family and coworkers, Google incessantly, even do the crossword puzzle.

It's impossible to remember how we ever got by without it. If fact, if I was stranded on a desert island, I wouldn't wish for a cell phone. I'd want a laptop with an excellent WiFi connection.

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