Cell phone addiction becomes a problem

Lauren Hansen, Journalism 1

They’re with people all day seven days a week, they answer every question, they never abandon people, or gets annoyed, and people love them unconditionally, cell phones. Cellphone addiction has become a problem throughout the world, but especially in America. People need to monitor their phone usage and keep it to a limit.

There are symptoms of phone addiction. If a person is anxious without their phone, always checking their phone for messages, having phantom vibrations (feeling like their phone went off but it didn’t), focusing on their phone while someone is talking to them, failing school, or they left their phone and have to turn back no matter how close to their destination they are, then they are addicted.

Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on their phone and use an average of 20 gigabytes of data a month.

While not dangerous, it an obsessive attachment that 61% of Americans sleep with their phones and 53 percent get upset when their phones are not with them. There is a phobia of not having a cellphone on hand called Nomophobia, which affects 40 percent of the population.

Mobile devices have become a part of everyday life, 64% of Americans have cell phones, 7% of which are cellphone dependent meaning they have few options for internet, television, or radio service outside of their phone. That lifestyle can be costly 48% of smartphone-dependent Americans had to cancel or shut down their cell phone service for a while because it became too expensive. They also often reach the maximum on their data plan.

93% of 18 to 29 year old cellphone owners use their phones to avoid boredom.

Restaurants have begun to ban the use of cellphones while dining.  A restaurant in Washington D.C., Rogue 24  has customers sign a two-page contract so they will not use phones while in the dining area.

“It’s basically about being courteous to your dining companions and fellow guests,” said restaurant owner RJ Cooper to kng.com.

In Los Angeles, Bucato banned talking on phones and taking pictures and chef Spike Mendelsohn does not allow phones in his speakeasy-style Sheppard in Washington D.C.

“Cell Phones at the table are one of the worst dining trends ever because they distract customers and restaurant workers from the dining experience,” said Chef RJ Copper to USA Today.
Cell Phones also cause health risks. Researchers found that nearly 19 out of 20 phones are contaminated with bacteria and superbugs, bacteria resilient to some common cleaners. Despite that, only about 10% of people clean their phones regularly.

Also, Talking on the phone distracts the brain from driving.

“The science tells [us] when [we’re] on the phone while driving, it is a high-risk activity — very, very risky, but most people don’t understand that,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council to ABC News.

People that are addicted to their phones can get phantom vibrations. These vibrations are when the brain tells a person that their phone got a new message, but in reality it did not; it is a false alarm.

“People have gotten so good at detecting vibrations that they start responding to false positives — they think something is there when it is not,” said Kaas to ABC News.

Obsessive texting can also affect people.

Over texting can lead to pain, numbness, and discomfort in the base of the thumbs.

Text-neck, muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, and sometimes lower-back is caused from too many hours hunched over smart phones.

Texting and driving is becoming more common it causes. 1,600,000 accidents per year and is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.

Yes, cellphones have benefits: being able to use the internet, social medial, and contact people with the push of a button is great, but there needs to be a limit. Some situations do not call for a phone. They should not be used while driving, on a date, with friends, before going to sleep, or while dining. If people restrict their phone usage than it opens time for other things the world has to offer.