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Tags: cellphone | addiction

Can Cellphone Use Become Addictive?

Friday, 30 November 2012 11:42 AM EST

Medical researchers are describing what they say is a new and emerging form of addiction — to cellphones — particularly among younger people.
In a new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, Baylor University researchers say they have found cellphone addiction is similar to compulsive buying and credit card misuse, with some individuals unable to resist the impulse to retrieve and respond to voice and text messages.
"At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss such aberrant cellphone use as merely youthful nonsense — a passing fad," said James Roberts, a professor of marketing at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business who helped conduct the study. “But an emerging body of literature has given increasing credence to cell phone addiction and similar behavioral addictions.”
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Roberts' study found cellphones can act as “a pacifier for the impulsive tendencies of the user” — a hallmark of behavioral and substance addictions. He added that cellphone use and over-use have become so common that it is important to have a better understanding of what drives these types of technological addictions.
Past studies have shown that young adults send an average of nearly 110 text messages a day. They receive an additional 113 text messages and check their cell 60 times in a typical day. On average, college students spend approximately seven hours daily interacting with communication technology.
For the new study, Roberts and colleagues surveyed 191 business students at two U.S. universities about their cellphone use. Among the findings: cellphones are habitually used by 90 percent of the students, are accessible at all times (including during class), and a majority of those polled said losing their cellphone would be “disastrous to their social lives,” Roberts said.
"Cellphones are a part of our consumer culture," said Roberts. "They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol. They're also eroding our personal relationships."

© HealthDay

Medical researchers are describing what they say is a new and emerging form of addiction — to cellphones.
Friday, 30 November 2012 11:42 AM
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