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Students struggle with cellphone addiction

In British study, large numbers say they use phones to escape are unable to cut back.
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Written by ZDNet Editors, Contributors on

A new study by British researchers found that students can become addicted to using cellphones, reports Reuters.

David Sheffield of the University of Staffordshire in Stoke-on-Trent found that some of the students' reactions were similar to symptoms associated with pathological gambling. “Mobile phones have become a very significant part of everyday life and their use can have some detrimental effects,” he said.

Sheffield questioned 106 students about their attitudes about their cellphones, and whether they could cope without them. Ninety percent of the 18-25 year olds admitted they took them everywhere. Thirty-five percent said they used the devices to escape their problems, 32 percent had made repeated attempts to cut down and 14 percent said they were willing to lie about how much they used them.

Sheffield said that the most surprising result of the study was that seven percent blamed their phone for the loss of a significant relationship or job.

Sheffield conducted another study where he asked students to stop using their phones for three days. Not surprisingly, students reported that their stress level went down, as well as their blood pressure and heart rate.

“Their responses (heart rate and blood pressure) while talking about phones was not as large after not using them,” he added.

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