84% of the World is "Addicted to Cellphones"

84% of the World is "Addicted to Cellphones"

By Valerie Tejeda 08/17/12

Most people can't go a day without checking their phones, according to a new global poll.

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Dependence on mobile devices has gone global—with a study conducted by TIME Magazine finding that 84% of people worldwide claim they couldn’t go a single day without their checking their phones. The researchers polled around 5,000 people from eight countries including the UK, India, South Korea, China, Brazil, Indonesia, and the United States; they found that one in four people check their phones every 30 minutes, and one in five check it every ten minutes. “It’s hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones,” writes Nancy Gibbs, TIME’s Deputy Managing Editor. “Only money comes close—always at hand, don’t leave home without it. But most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us,” she adds, noting that a smartphone “can replace your wallet now anyway.” Being dependent on cell phones also appears to have mental and physical effects, according to Gibbs. “There’s a smartphone gait: the slow sidewalk weave that comes from being lost in conversation rather than looking where you’re going,” she writes. “Thumbs are stronger, attention shorter, temptation everywhere: We can always be, mentally, digitally, someplace other than where we are.” As the numbers suggest, cell phones dependence is not confined to the wealthy. Gibbs says: “In many parts of the world, more people have access to a mobile device than to a toilet or running water.”

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.

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