Are we addicted to our cell phones? This is a common question that has arisen in the past several years as our phone technology and capabilities continue to increase. According to recent statistics, 85% of the U.S. population are cell phone users (Chen).We Americans use our cell phones to do just about everything. We talk, text, check our E-mail, surf the Internet, and interact in social networking, all on our phones. Because our phones have become so resourceful to us in our everyday lives, many say that cell phones have become addicting. Cell phones in today’s life have become very addicting to many people, and there are many ways in which to show how they are addicting.
“An addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit- forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma” (dictionary.com). Addiction is when a person becomes dependent on something and feels like they can’t go without it. For example, a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol cannot go without that substance or drink without suffering from physical or psychological problems. Whenever they are away from it or withdrawn from it that is all they think about and they will do anything to get what they need to satisfy the craving. These individuals become dependent upon that substance or act and feel like they cannot go without it.
The usage of cell phones has become very addicting for the people in the world today. David Greenfield, a psychologist who is an expert on Internet-related behaviors, says that constant and continual use of untethered devices produces chemical responses in the body similar to gambling (Tanaka, and Terry-Cobo). “We tote our iPhones, LGs and Blackberrys with us so we can contact anyone, anywhere, anytime, and so we can be reached instantly (Tanaka, and Terry-Cobo).” In today’s world, people depend on their cell phone for their businesses, their social lives, and for gaming. They have become so dependent upon their cell phones that many people no longer have the land-line phone in their house or their business.
Business men and women have become so dependent on their cell phones that they now have become addicted. It would be almost impossible to find a business man or woman who does not carry a cell phone with them twenty-four hours a day. They use them to call and meet new clients to gain business. They use them to talk with workers and keep up with what is going on back the office as they travel. They can use them as reminders of meeting and when things are due as well as the activities they go through in everyday life. The way the business people use their cell phones has led to an increase in business’s efficiency and with increased efficiency at which people can work the cell phone leads that person to being more dependent upon their cell phone.
Additionally, people use their cell phones as a way to keep up with their social life. People use their cell phones in their social life to the extent that without their phone they feel totally alone. This connection between phone and social life is the reason cell phones are so addicting. They can call from almost anywhere in the world. They can text someone when the time is not right to call or when they don’t want to talk. They can check Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, and even the news, from the convenience of their mobile phone. Lisa Merlo, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the University of Florida College of Medicine, said, “It’s this need to be connected, to know what’s going on and be available to other people.
That’s one of the hallmarks of cell phone addiction. (cellular-news)” The ways that phones make it easier to communicate with people causes them to use the cell phones more and more as a way to communicate. This increased usage causes people to become more dependent and thereby addicted to their phone. People have become so addicted to their cell phones they have chosen their phones over a long-term relationship. Psychologist David Sheffield said, “The most shocking figure was that 7 percent (of students surveyed) said the use of mobile phones had caused them to lose a relationship or a job. (cellular-news)”
Another way that cell phones are addicting is because people use their phones to play an assortment of games. There are millions of games that people can play just by simply downloading a game or application to their phones. People no longer have to stay at home and play their games on a gaming device or computer. Now they can play games away from their homes and pretty much wherever and whenever they want. Many times people try to carry on face-to-face conversations while being distracted while gaming on their cell phone. This feeling of endless and uncontained gaming is yet another way that people get hooked to their cell phones. “Experts say cell phone usage will only increase as the phones become more sophisticated and powerful, likely replacing laptops in the future.”(Tanaka, and Terry-Cobo)
Cell phones are used by so many people and do so many things to help people that they have become a necessity, rather than a convenience, in order for people to carry on their lives. This necessity or dependency is the addiction that people face with their cell phones. When these people lose or break their phones they panic, feel anxiety and look for the quickest way to fix the problem. For example, the car needs the oil changed and at the same time the phone is broken. Most people today will put their phones as top priority and get it fixed before repairing their car. This choice is a true indication of cell phone addiction. People’s cell phones have become part of their daily life, and they are so dependent on their phones that they cannot function without them.
When that phone is taken away, people just don’t feel right or feel like they can’t function without their phones. People feel that it is so necessary to pay their cell phone bill, that they will pay that bill before they pay their rent. These actions of not being able to go without are cell phone is what defines an addiction. Therefore, cell phones are in fact an addiction. As additional proof of this addiction, try leaving your phone at home tomorrow. Will you return home to get your cell phone even if it means being late to work or school? If you do not return home to get your phone, how many times throughout the day will you wonder who has called or texted you? Are you missing an emergency? Will you rush home to check it? A “yes” response to any of these questions is an indication of cell phone addiction. Try this simple test and you will agree that cell phones are indeed addicting.
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