Apparently, it’s especially hard to do for the 8% of participants in a recent survey that declared that they would rather give up eating than give up cable, cellphones or internet.
AdAge commissioned a survey from Ipsos Observer, asking 1000 Americans whether they’d be more willing to give up their cable, cellphone or internet. Aside from the 8% who probably need to leave the house more often, 49% said that cable would be the easiest habit to break, with 37% going for cellphone and only 6% saying internet (Yes, that’s right: More people would be willing to give up eating than give up the internet).
Twenty-two percent of smartphone users said they were willing to forego seeing their significant other entirely for a week than give up their phone. Another 22% were willing to give up their toothbrushes, and one in five mentioned they were even willing to go shoeless than phoneless for a week. That’s right: shoeless. At least its summer anyways, right?
“The study is important because it documents that the human brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted by cellphones,” Dr. Volkow said. “It also highlights the importance of doing studies to address the question of whether there are — or are not — long-lasting consequences of repeated stimulation, of getting exposed over five, 10 or 15 years.”
Although preliminary, the findings are certain to reignite a debate about the safety of cellphones.
For example, although almost 90 percent of households in the United States now have a cellphone, the growth in voice minutes used by consumers has stagnated, according to government and industry data.
This is true even though more households each year are disconnecting their landlines in favor of cellphones.
Instead of talking on their cellphones, people are making use of all the extras that iPhones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones were also designed to do — browse the Web, listen to music, watch television, play games and send e-mail and text messages.
The primary concern with cellphones and cancer seems to be the development of brain tumors associated with cellphone use. Some research suggests a slight increase in the rate of brain tumors since the 1970s, but cellphones weren't in use during the 1970s. Instead, the subtle increases are more likely related to other factors — such as increased access to medical care and improvements in diagnostic imaging.
PC Magazine notes that Manchester, England, had the most stolen phones of any city in the world included in the study.
Overall, a cellphone is lost somewhere in the world every few seconds, with roughly 2.5 billion lost last year.
And therein lay my query: At what age should children have their own cell phones?
Children as young as 6 and 7 often are already using the basic, just-for-calling-home phone, but those phones are rarely even manufactured anymore. Even the most basic phone comes equipped with a camera and Internet access, and some have video standard as well. When kids have very little grasp of consequences and the concept of "tomorrow" -- let alone "in perpetuity" -- why are we giving them these tools to record and play images and send words that could truly cause damage, if not now, then somewhere down the line?
Cell-phone addicts can be so attuned to their digital companions that they are able to feel the difference between a short vibration –signaling, say, a text message - and a longer one for a phone call.
Starting next year, they will have a new class of vibrations to get familiar with.
Apple, for example, began letting iPhone users with the latest version of its software assign customized vibrations to different contacts.
"Half of all adult cell owners (51%) had used their phone at least once to get information they needed right away," the report said. "One quarter (27%) said that they experienced a situation in the previous month in which they had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone at hand."
Among cell phone users ages 18-29, 42% reported experiencing trouble doing something because their phone wasn't nearby.
Three-quarters of US 12- to 17-year-olds text on cellphones, and the volume of texts they send and received is now 60 a day for the median teen texter, up from 50 a day in 2009, according to a study released March 19 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.