Mobile Phone “Addiction”


“ATTACHMENT to Mobile Phones Reaching Point of Addiction,” stated a headline in The Daily Yomiuri of Japan. Addiction? “Young people appear to view their mobile phones as parts of their bodies and may even start to panic if they are separated from their phones,” explained the newspaper. In fear of being cut off from others, many keep their mobile phones on all the time, everywhere. If they “do not receive any messages on their mobile phones, they feel uneasy and irritable, and start to feel they are not needed by anybody.” This uneasiness impels them to answer all incoming text messages immediately, which is often not necessary.

Of course, mobile phones can be advantageous. In fact, they have often proved invaluable in emergency situations. Even casual use of mobile phones is not necessarily wrong, as long as this is done in a balanced way. But some authorities say that mobile phone “addiction” could harm normal communication skills. A middle-school teacher in Osaka worries that because of mobile phones, “children are losing the ability to interpret the facial expressions, behavior and tones of voice of others. A consequence of this is increased aggressiveness among children, coupled with a disregard for others’ feelings,” said the newspaper.

The article concluded: “It seems inevitable that children’s reliance on cell phones will grow in the future. The only way to minimize the negative effects of this trend is to ensure that adults set children a good example in using cell phones.”