Cell Phone Addiction in the USA

cell phone addiction

New research has revealed that more and more of us are becoming addicted to our cell phones – and one in five (23%) would prefer to give up sex than be parted from their phone.

A cell phone addiction quiz commissioned by Decluttr, an online service that offers cash for unwanted electronics, DVDs, CDs, video games and Blu-rays,  discovered that the majority of us check our cell phones compulsively.

Over half of the quiz respondents (59%) admitted that checking their phone is the first thing they do after waking up and is the last thing they do before sleeping. 43% of people would never leave their house without their cell phone.

The research also revealed what people would give up to stay within arm’s length of their cell phone, a shocking 23% of people said they would give up sex for their cell phone, while 20% would give up sports and 18% would sacrifice alcohol.

The study also looked into personal cell phone usage and found that Americans use their cell phones primarily for calling/texting (11%) and listening to music (11%) followed by taking photos/videos (10%). Over a fifth of respondents admitted that taking a selfie was the first thing they do before a night out (24%).

Liam Howley, group marketing director at Decluttr, said: “Over recent years, cell phones have become psychologically addictive for many users, and not just the younger generation. While they can be an extremely useful communication tool and source of information, they can also lead to users switching off from reality, missing out on what’s actually going on around them. The fear of missing out is huge with 60% of people admitting to checking their phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. With people checking their phones on average 150 times a day*, the problem only looks to be getting worse.

“Even when we stop using our old phones because they’ve been replaced by a newer model, we still can’t bear to part with them, as each house on average has three unused phones lying around.”

The study discovered that over half of respondents (69%) prefer their cell phones to have a sufficient amount of charge before leaving the house, as a result 29% of people said they are left feeling stressed when they realise their phone is at 5% battery.

The results also found that 45% of people would use their cell phone on a date night, but only in case of an emergency, however this is the one occasion when a fifth of respondents would never use their cell phone and will give their date 100% of their attention.

To help people test their cell phone addiction Decluttr has created an online quiz http://www.decluttr.com/blog/2016/03/31/cell-phone-addiction-quiz/

Decluttr’s tips for weaning yourself off your cell phone.

1. Gradually leave bigger gaps between checking your messages or social media posts. If you normally check every 15 minutes, make it once an hour, if every hour, leave it for 2-3 hours etc. Build up to only checking two or three times a day. You can let friends/work colleagues know in advance that you’re going to be doing this and that if there’s an emergency where they need an urgent response from you, they can call you.

2. If you think you’ll get bored without your phone to turn to, think of ways you can fill your time instead. Read a book or listen to music when you’re travelling on public transport or waiting around. You could also make better use of your time learning a new skill or doing some exercise.

3. In social situations, only use your phone if you’re sharing something with the people you’re with – looking up information or posting a social media post that includes your friends.

4. Don’t check your phone when you’re on a date, or with someone you’re meant to be spending one to one time with. Focus on whoever you are with and give them your full attention.

5. Be fully present and start to appreciate being in the ‘here and now’. Take notice of what’s going on around you, connecting with real people in the real world.

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