Have you ever broken up with your girl/boyfriend over a text message or mobile email? Have you spent most of the time during fancy restaurant dinner staring down at your smartphone screen instead of the people across your table? Is the time your phone screen spends unlocked starting to equal your TV time?
If so, you are seemingly in the majority, especially if your age ends with the -teen suffix. Dr James Roberts, of the Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, that commissioned a study on the compulsive behavior behind phone usage these days, revealed that it has all the symptoms of a substance addiction, and is affecting our interpersonal skills on a grand scale.
"Mobile phones are a part of our consumer culture. They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol. They're also eroding our personal relationships," said the good doctor.
The team concluded that the youth studied during the research phase showed the tendency to check their phones about 60 times day, spending up to seven hours in some cases in total of messaging, checking the web, fiddling with apps and so on.
"At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss such aberrant mobile phone use as merely youthful nonsense - a passing fad," he added. "But an emerging body of literature has given increasing credence to cell phone addiction and similar behavioural addictions."