Monthly Archives: August 2011
A national survey found that a third of Americans would rather give up sex than their smartphones, as mobile devices become even more rooted into people’s lives.
The survey by Telenav found people are more likely to give up a variety of habits instead of their smartphones. More than 50 percent of people would rather give up caffeine, chocolate or exercise than part with their iPhones or Blackberrys for a week, while a hygienically questionable 22 percent would be willing to part with their toothbrushes.
Telenav’s survey dovetails with psychologists’ recent findings that more people that would rather fiddle with their smartphones than interact with other human beings. An increasing number of people sleep with their phones and check them incessantly, fearing that they will miss something unless they stay plugged-in.
According to another study by OkCupid, overly-active Twitter users have shorter relationships than those who use the service sparingly or not at all. Maintaining a sturdy Twitter following requires people to update status messages all the time, making heavy users feel the need to constantly pull out their cell phones and read their latest tweets. The habit disconnects them from the world around them, including their loved ones.
Telenav’s study went one step further and broke down its findings specifically by the types of smartphone that people used. Just 10 percent of iPhone users admitted to ending a relationship via text message, voicemail, Facebook or Twitter, as opposed to 18 percent of Android users and 15 percent of BlackBerry users.
Perhaps iPhone owners are luckier in love because they try to date their own kind. More than 80 percent of iPhone users said they think other iPhone owners would make the best romantic partners.
The survey didn’t specify whether these iPhone users think it’s the ability to Facetime, sync their music libraries or just geek out over Apple products that assures them a lifetime of happiness.
Many Britons are welded to their smartphones 24 hours a day and refuse to turn them off in cinemas and theatres, according to a study Thursday showing how the devices are changing social behaviour.
Research for telecommunications watchdog Ofcom showed that more than a third of adults and a majority of teenagers say they are highly addicted to devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, often referred to as ‘CrackBerry’ by users for this reason.
Users are more likely than owners of standard mobile phones to never switch them off, and are more inclined to continue sending email or text messages even when at the cinema or the theatre.
They are also more likely to be hunched over their phones during social occasions such as meals with friends, the research showed.
Smartphones also encourage users to make more calls and send more text messages than regular mobile phone owners.
More than a quarter of adults and nearly half of all teenagers in Britain now own a smartphone.
And people who had bought a smartphone reported they had cut back on activities such as reading books and newspapers and watching TV.
A clear sign of their growing influence can be seen in their intrusion into holiday time, with users admitting they were more likely to take calls or consult emails from the office even when away.
James Thickett, director of research for Ofcom, said the insistence on keeping smartphones switched on in cinemas and theatres raised issues of social etiquette and tolerance.
“It raises an issue about social etiquette and modern manners and the degree to which we as a society are tolerant of this behaviour,” he said.
“I think what we have found before is that teenagers have always been more likely to use mobile phones in cinemas and theatres.
“What we are finding now is that for smartphone users, it is much, much higher, but adult smartphone users as well.
“So it is not just about adults and teenagers having different values, it is about technology driving the values towards the way you behave in social situations.”
The family of a budding computer programmer have on Saturday launched a campaign to raise awareness about the health risks of playing online computer games after their son died following a marathon session on his Xbox.
A post-mortem revealed that 20-year-old Chris Staniforth — who was offered a place to study Game Design at Leicester University — was killed by a pulmonary embolism, which can occur if someone sits in the same position for several hours.
Deep vein thrombosis normally affects passengers on long-haul flights, but medical experts fear youngsters who spend hours glued to their consoles might also be at risk and have urged them to take regular breaks.
Professor Brian Colvin — an expert on blood-related conditions — said it was “unhealthy” for youngsters to spend long periods in front of their consoles.
“There’s anxiety about obesity and children not doing anything other than looking at computer screens,” he told The Sun.
David Staniforth has now launched a campaign to warn other parents of the dangers.
“Games are fun and once you’ve started playing it’s hard to stop.
“Kids all over the country are playing these games for long periods – they don’t realise it could kill them,” he told The Sun.
A coroner’s court in Sheffield was told how the youngster — who had no underlying medical conditions — was complaining of a low heart rate before collapsing outside a Jobcentre.
Staniforth’s distraught father said his son would spend up to 12 hours playing on his Xbox.
“He got sucked in playing Halo online against people from all over the world.”
Online computer games are extremely popular as thousands interact in shared science fiction worlds.
Reports of gamers collapsing after spending 15 hours in front of video games are fairly common throughout Asia.
In 2005, a South Korean gamer died after playing online games for three days without taking a break.
Microsoft — which manufactures the Xbox — said it “recommend gamers take breaks to exercise as well as make time for other pursuits.”