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We love our cellphones and feel only a little guilty about it

November 30, 2012|By Chris O'Brien
  • We love them, and we can't live without them, according to a Pew study.
We love them, and we can't live without them, according to a Pew study. (Glenn Chapman / AFP/Getty…)

They keep trying to tell us ours is a dangerous love. A love that leaves us too distracted. A love that costs too much. A love that causes us to work too hard. 

But we know better. Our love for our cellphones comes without guilt or shame. Well, not much anyway. 

If you have felt that you are alone in this affection, and must hide this love, then have no fear. A new Pew study confirms that you are not alone in your fondness for a gadget that makes many feel more connected and more productive. 

The findings are part of a study to be released Friday called, “The Best (and Worst) of Mobile Connectivity,” that was conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

“Cell owners have become extremely attached and attuned to their phones, but many express ambivalence about that attachment,” Aaron Smith, lead author of the report, said in a statement accompanying it. “They love — and love to hate — the convenience and connectivity their phones afford."

Ah, but that love far outweighs the hate among the 85% of adults who now own a cellphone, according to the survey. 

Consider: 

  • 67% of cellphone owners check their phones ... even when it's not ringing or vibrating! 
  • 44% have slept with the phone next to their bed so as not to miss anything important at night. 
  • 29% say their cellphone is "something they can't imagine living without."

And they say we have commitment issues. Not, when it comes to our true love, our bright, shiny mobile gadgets.

Yes, it's true that at times we feel a touch guilty about this love. According to Pew, 11% of us worry that we spend too much time with our beloved phones. And 12% of us admit that others have told us that's the case. 

But compare that to the 39% who say other people have complained they don't respond fast enough to calls and messages. And 33% say they have been accused of not checking their phones enough. 

Indeed, 65% said their cellphones have made it easier to stay in touch with others, while only 9% said it makes it hard to unplug from work, and 7% fell too distracted. 

"Although most would say that the benefits outweigh the costs, they freely complain about the downsides of hyper-connectedness, with the heaviest mobile users being some of the most persistent grumblers," Smith said.

But shed that self-imposed guilt. Proclaim your love, loud and strong. And when no one's looking, give your cellphone a hug today. 

Follow me on Twitter @obrien.

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