Cell phones do so much more than let us talk to other people. They deliver our email messages. They give us real time directions to any destination. They even allow us to shoot angry birds at unsuspecting pigs. It comes as no surprise then that many cell phone users across the United States are quite literally addicted to their phones
Approximately one-third of individuals admit to cell phone overuse, but that number may be low given that most people don’t realize when they have an addiction. And just like any other type of obsessive need, a cell phone addiction can interfere with not only a person’s daily life, but also their day-to-day safety.
First, there are the people who check their cell phones even when they’re not ringing or buzzing just to see if perhaps they missed a call or message. Then there are the individuals who can’t stop themselves from texting or emailing during inappropriate times like eating dinner or watching a movie. Finally, you have the folks whose cell phone usage put both themselves and others in harm’s way, such as when they’re on the road. It’s behavior such as this that can potentially indicate an addiction.
Moreover, everyone is so accustomed to instant communication via cell phone calls, texts, and emails that sometimes the urge to reply right away is prompted by the demands of others. Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of someone else’s irritation because we didn’t answer their text fast enough or didn’t pick up their call? When it comes to friends and family, perhaps you can delay your response. Yet many employers expect immediate replies from their workers no matter where they are or what they are doing.
Considering that cell phones play such a large role in the professional and personal lives of millions of people, odds are that addictions to them will likely rise. Plus, if you don’t think you have a problem, why would you feel the need to change your behavior?
What do you think? Have people become too dependent on their phones, or is this just a normal consequence of expanding technology and our evolving needs?