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It’s probably better to talk: How checking our phones 60 times a day is driving away friendsMobile phones are eroding our personal relationships, according to a new studyScientists have compared constantly texting and checking phones to addictions like compulsive spending
10:33 GMT, 1 December 2012
Compulsive: Constant texting is an addiction, experts say
Young people's attachment to their mobile phones is eroding their personal relationships, according to a new study.
The claims come after research revealed that young adults – in addition to sending over 100 texts – check their mobile up to 60 times a day.
Experts behind a new study have now said compulsively checking a mobile phone is an addiction similar to compulsive spending or credit card misuse.
They said their research showed mobile and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness – which also plays a role in behavioural and substance addictions.
Dr James Roberts, of the Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, said it was important for students – who spend up to seven hours a day interacting with communication technology – to recognise when their behaviour is becoming a problem.
'Mobile phones are a part of our consumer culture,' Dr Roberts said.
'They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol.
'They're also eroding our personal relationships,' he added.
Status symbol: Research has shown mobile and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness
Previous studies into the habits of university students have revealed young adults send an average 109.5 texts a day – the equivalent of around 3,200 messages a month.
They receive an additional 113 texts and check their phones 60 times in a typical day. In all, students spend about seven hours a day interacting with information and communication technology.
That mobile phones are accessible at any time – even during class – and possess an ever-expanding array of functions, makes their use or over-use increasingly likely, researchers have said.
Dr Roberts and his team said that, for the majority of young people, losing their phone would be 'disastrous to their social lives'.
'At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss such aberrant mobile phone use as merely youthful nonsense – a passing fad,' he said.
'But an emerging body of literature has given increasing credence to cell phone addiction and similar behavioural addictions.'