A Baylor University study found cell phone addiction to be a “realistic possibility” among students responding to an online survey. While many claimed they weren’t addicted – despite a high number of hours spent on their devices – 60 percent of the 164 respondents admitted to be addicted to their cell phones.
Women spent more time on their cell phones, averaging 10 hours per day. Men averaged nearly eight hours. Baylor noted that such excessive use of cell phones presents a risk to academic performance.
“That’s astounding,” said Baylor researcher, James Roberts, Ph.D.
“As cell phone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”
The study analyzed 24 cell phone activities and found Pinterest and Instagram usage to be significantly associated with cell phone addiction. Time spent on 11 other activities was found to differ greatly according to the user’s sex. Interestingly, Internet and gaming activities were not found to be addictive for the cell phone users surveyed.
The study also found that:
- Women spend more time on their cell phones despite the myth that men tend to favor technology. This may be due to women using cell phones more often to connect socially.
- Men use cell phones more often for utilitarian and entertainment purposes, but “are not immune to the allure of social media,” Roberts said. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter were among the most-mentioned sites visited by men.
- The top cell phone activity for both sexes was texting, averaging 94.6 minutes per day. Next was sending emails (48.5 minutes), followed by checking Facebook (38.6 minutes), surfing the Internet (34.4 minutes), and listening to iPods (26.9 minutes).
With cell phone usage becoming more indispensable for personal and business use, it raises tough questions for psychologists studying cell phone addiction to accurately describe cell phone addiction and to prescribe possible treatment.
ABC News 13 in Asheville, North Carolina caught up with Scott Trantham as he was purchasing a new cell phone. Trantham denied being addicted to his cell phone.
“I’m not addicted [to my cell phone], but I gotta have it,” Trantham said.
The WLOS affiliate reminded its readers that addiction means the need to regularly have something.
“I know it sounds crazy, but I’m really not addicted to it, but I got to have it,” Trantham reiterated.
The Huffington Post noted that the 164 students weren’t randomly sampled and so it remains unclear how representative the cell phone usage results are compared to the general college population.
The Inquisitr raised the question of whether too much cell phone usage could lead to cancer. While there is no clear evidence for this, the World Health Organization reported that exposure to the RF fields generated by data devices like cell phones could have adverse effects on the health of users.
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