Mobile phones have given us the ability to keep in contact with our friends, family, and co-workers, no matter where we are geographically; they also give us a lifeline in case we have car trouble, or are otherwise in danger. However, they have also presented the unique problem of becoming more important than our interpersonal connections. In a way, our primary relationship seems to be with the phone, rather than with another person. This had led to several oddities that need to be remedied very soon.
People check their phones while they are out dining with friends, spending time with their children, and shopping; they have become almost like a third arm. Many people state that they feel “lost” without their phones, but we have functioned many years without them. So what has changed? Are Americans so afraid of missing out on something online, that they will sacrifice living in the moment? Sadly, it appears this is the truth.
When asked whether Americans couldn’t live without their mobile phones or sex, an astounding 26% said they couldn’t live without their phones over the 20% that couldn’t live without sex. Perhaps this is because 44% of U.S. cellphone owners sleep with their cellphones, and 67% of us check our phones even when they are not ringing or vibrating. This indicates an almost obsessive behavior with an inanimate object.
Since we have become obsessive about checking our cellphones, perhaps it should not be surprising that 69% of American single people are unsure whether or not an outing with someone they liked was a date or not. Which could explain the 27% of Americans who live in one-person households, which is up from 1970’s mere 17%.
In a study by FinancesOnline.com, they examined some of the peculiar habits Americans display and how they are affecting every day life:
What does this mean? We enjoy spending time with our pets and our cellphone more than we enjoy the company of other people? Or is it simply that by the time we have finished working a full day, we do not have the energy to do anything else. Americans are worried about where their food comes from, the environment, and water, but not about the failing state of our interpersonal relationships. 67% of Americans have wondered if their food and beverages were produced in an eco-friendly, sustainable way.
It seems a bit hard to understand that American care about the environment, but not each other. Possibly it is a case of Americans trying to do too many things at a time; we have a tendency to over-book, over-schedule, and over-work ourselves. We sacrifice time with our families, in order to gain respect and position at work. We sacrifice quality of work, in order to spend time with our families and not miss out on their activities. There does not seem to be a happy medium and this is true more now than ever before. In our fast-paced society, where you can get behind in an instant, it is almost impossible to take a break, relax, and just be in the moment, but the ironic thing is, we need those breaks now more than ever before, as well.
Whether you believe cell phones are the best technological innovation since the computer or you believe they are harming our every day lives; one thing is certain: they are a very integral part of our lives. Perhaps we should focus more on putting down our phones and turning our attentions to our friends and families. This way, we can live in the moment and check our emails, Facebooks, and Twitters later. Otherwise, our odd habits are bound to increase.