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Study reveals our strange, sad relationship with cell phones | Updated: 2015-08-12 11:18

Study reveals our strange, sad relationship with cell phones

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Has the high-tech gadget become an indispensible part of your life? Do you find yourself absorbed into the small screen and missing out much of the beauty of a "real" life?

Please do not worry, because according to tech giant Motorola's seven-country, 7,000-person study on smartphone habits survey, you are not alone.

Respondents from the US, the UK, Brazil, China, Spain, Mexico and India took part in the study on how they use their smartphones in their daily lives, and some of the results are eye opening.

An average of 60 percent of users from seven countries said they hold their cell phone while sleeping, or place their phones near their beds. India had the highest respondent rate at 74 percent, with China following at 70 percent. In Spain and the UK, 43 percent admitted to sleeping with their cell phones.

With more advanced apps and the convenience they bring, more than half of respondents said in case of fire, they would "save" their phones before their pets. India scored the highest at 68 percent and China at 65 percent.

Smartphones are becoming so indispensible part of people's lives that users take them with them even to shower and loo. An average of 57 percent of users took their phones with them to bathroom, with China recording the highest proportion at 67 percent. Brazil followed at 64 percent and India the lowest at 41 percent. One out of five respondents said they use their cell phones even when showering, with Brazil and Mexico topping the list at 27 and 25 percent. China seemed more relaxed in this, with only 8 percent of users incorporated their phones into their daily cleansing routine.

Mobile phones have also become "holes in trees" for some users, as 40 percent of users said they revealed their deepest secrets to their phones. Instead of talking to family and friends, 67 percent of Chinese users and 61 percent of Indians shared their innermost thoughts with their gadget friend.

The close friendship between humans and their phones seem all well, but the survey did reveal some depressing thoughts. Only 39 percent of respondents said they had a "happy" relationship with their smartphone, and 79 percent said they got irritated when their phones interrupted them during a meeting or in public (84 percent in India and 83 percent in China). In other words, four out of five users in China were disturbed by their cell phones, and yet, 15 percent of Chinese users were willing to cancel a date, 18 percent willing to skip showering and 19 percent willing to not sleep in order to buy time to use their phones.

Professor Zhao Yufeng, member of Indoor Environmental Monitoring Committee of China Interior Decoration Association, suggested not placing cell phones near the pillow when going to sleep.

"Some like to use their mobile phones as alarm clocks, this is a bad habit. Radiations from mobile phones pose risks for people's health as it may disturb functions of the central nervous system and cause headache, nausea, insomnia, excessive dreaming and even baldness," said Zhao.

In a day and age where many are held "hostage" by their phones, it is perhaps advisable to raise our heads and appreciate the beauty of a real world, and not just the virtual one on small flashing screens.


Easy Talk: Are you addicted to your smartphone?

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