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Cell Phone Addiction: A Trend on the Rise

Medic-ALL (01:09:2014) Featured post:
The word "addiction" is commonly associated with alcohol and drugs, but new studies by researchers in Baylor University, Texas, U.S.A suggests a new form of dependence is becoming of increasing concern- cell phone addiction. The researchers say addiction to cellphones has become a “realistic possibility” in response to data finding female college students spend an average of 10 hours per day on their electronic devices, and men spending nearly eight.

A Baylor University study on cellphone activity published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictionsfinds that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their phone. Many respondents said they feel agitated when it’s not in their sight and feel their cellphone is “both freeing and enslaving at the same time.”

“That’s astounding,” said researcher James Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. “As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”

The Baylor study conducted from surveying 164 college students and examining 24 cellphone activities and measuring time spent on the devices. Pinterest and Instagram apps were specifically associated with addiction to one’s phone. Respondents overall reported spending the most significant portion of their time texting, with that taking up an average of 94.6 minutes each day. Emails were second at 48.5 minutes, Facebook at 38.6 minutes, browsing the Internet at 34.4 minutes and iPod usage at 26.9 minutes on average each day.
Study participants responded to questions such as: “I get agitated when my cellphone is not in sight” and “I find that I am spending more and more time on my cellphone” to measure the intensity of their addiction.

Men were found to spend less time on their phones than women but the study notes males “are not immune to the allure of social media.”
The study notes instances of cellphone use disrupting classrooms and cheating some face-to-face interaction.

“Cellphones may wind up being an escape mechanism from their classrooms. For some, cellphones in class may provide a way to cheat,” Roberts said. “We need to identify the activities that push cellphone use from being a helpful tool to one that undermines our well-being and that of others.”

Sources: CBS Houston, Medical News Today

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