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Are you addicted to your mobile phone?

April 20th, 2010
04:14 PM ET

Text messaging and mobile phone use by teens has skyrocketed over the past year and a half, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/cellphone.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Are you addicted to your mobile phone?"]

The study said that 54 percent of teens were daily texters and that 15 percent send more than 200 text messages a day.

That’s equal to nearly 6,000 texts a month.

In many cases, cell phones have become an integral and irreplaceable part of life for a teen.

“It’s right by my bed when I go to sleep and right by my bed when I wake-up and it’s like the first thing I go to,” 15-year-old Sarah Matzkin told CNN.

“If someone responds right away, you’re like yay they responded and if someone responds two to three hours later you’re like, what’s going on?”

It may sound addictive and according to some doctors, it is.

Studies have shown that texting and the instant gratification of getting a text back floods the brain’s pleasure center with the mood enhancing dopamine.

“Neuro-imaging studies have shown that those kids who are texting have the same area of the brain light up as an addict using heroin,” Dr Michael Seyffert said.

Seyffert treats teens with sleeping disorders and has discovered that one out of five of them are interrupting their sleep to text.

We want to know what you think.

Do teenagers have a problem when it comes to texting? Are you addicted to your phone?


Filed under:  General
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. D Lee

    Almost everyone on the planet has a problem with it not just teens. its more noticeable with teens because the world revolves around them and every little crisis they have is amplified via text. but in general everyone with an updated latest version cyber laser blaster jedi saber berry phone has a problem texting all of the time. I lived in the states for 35 years and I now live in Europe and its the same here as there. blah blah blah ....via text, if its true about the effect it has on the brain I over dosed on dopamine long ago. and broke my habit of texting. I decided that the real world is outside and not in that tiny screen in your hands.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  2. Tom13

    I think that it's a part of the "now generation" for a reason and that is because unlike their parent's and grandparent's generation, you have to be up to speed now

    April 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  3. LMHORTA

    My iPhone has definitely changed (for the better!) the way I carry my personal and business affairs. By far the best tool/gadget I’ve owned and I don’t even want to think about the possibility of losing it. This is all to say that I love my iPhone. NOPE, I don’t work for Apple.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  4. Yustino mdoe

    Yes b'coz 1.i use some money to get some news 2. chating 3.finding some college dat is why i'm said i'm addicted to my phone.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  5. svh

    At D Lee:
    Don't generalise-most adults over 40 that I knowdon't have this problem but their kids do.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  6. D Lee

    @ SVH yes I would tend to agree with you and as we had our "crazes" back in the day so the next generation will find that sometimes leaving behind the umbilical chord for a river canoe,or hiking boots or just a stroll through the park uninterupted is more what life is really about....freedom give at least one day of your life a month to being off the grid and you will understand young padawans..

    April 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  7. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    Let us Now Connect through our mobile phone
    to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname
    Latin-American

    April 20, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  8. Sunday pius ojie

    I am addicted to my phone because is the only way i connected to my friends outside the country.It have become part of my life

    April 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  9. belly

    In New Zealand most teens text more than they ring. Calling is very expensive here – NZ$0.89 per minute on the main carriers where as texting is only NZ$0.20. One company has a NZ$12 plan that you get unlimited texts for a month.

    Once calls get cheaper then we will see a change I think. But at the moment many people go over 2,000 per month.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  10. Neville Nwabuzor

    I think am addicted to my mobile phone because am with it 24/7, even sleep with it. I browse via my phone,listen to my mp3 songs, and also to live radio,record and even snap with it. I can't just do without my phone

    April 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  11. Aminu suleiman

    As a good citizen of Nigeria i want the goverment should pls conduct free and fair election that all nigerians will kown their right president.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  12. Monrovia

    Yes. I'm addicted to my mobile phone

    April 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  13. Harmony

    Being adicted to cellphone is not good b/c Bible told us that their is time for every thing.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  14. Gabriel

    Am addicted to my phone, sometimes i lock my self in the bathroom alone with my phone

    April 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  15. Jameel Usman

    Almost teens are addicted to phones all over the world.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  16. Imtiyaz Husney

    Plz,tis has bcome a sickness of most ppl and i aint gonna join these phone loving retardeds uff! If I'll come to be mobilephone-sick prepare to have snow in Madagascar.and a hot-sun in the antarctica,and a kilimanjaro in the middle of Antlantic ocean.
    My photo's are never thru phone cz theyre just 5MP maximum,and texting is a waste of time on your phone-keypad...so am prob'ly usin' my astrological paths to study what runs in any buddy,even secret in them heads and hearts...hhhey am not Magician or sumthin' so chill CNN.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  17. Chioma

    My phone stands for many things in my lif without it i feel empty as if something is missing in me.i make and recieve calls a lot so i am just so connected to ma mobile phone let me not use the word addicted.

    April 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  18. ade badejo

    im addicted, yeah! i surf d net every idle time of mine.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  19. Mick

    “If someone responds right away, you’re like yay they responded and if someone responds two to three hours later you’re like, what’s going on?”

    Looks like this 15 year old should spend a bit more time studying English rather than sending text messages!!!!

    April 20, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  20. Don Brown

    I have never owned a mobile phone and never want to. Thank you

    April 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  21. Antonina

    I wouldn't say I am addicted to my phone (I am 32) though it is an integral part of life. It's not just the texting part of it but internet as well.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  22. Smallz

    Yeah its true .Am tryin to get of the cell txtin habit cuz whn u txt u always xpct a reply immediately,u cut short ur sleep,middle of class,in the bthroom.OMG AM AN ADDICT SUMBDY TEK ME TO REHAB CENTRE.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  23. Oluwo ibikunle

    I cant do witout my phone,am addicted to it because calls are expensive in nigeria while text is just N15 naira nigeria currency so most texts in nigeria and are used to there phones.From: lagos,Nigeria.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  24. Ugochukwu Odulukwe, Aba

    I too am addicted to my phone. Its not something peculiar to teens alone adults are also culpable. I recently discovered that i can't sleep without me havin my cell under my pillow. Isn't dat addiction?

    April 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  25. Alexander A

    I have never owned a real cell phone, beyond an emergency pre-paid phone I keep in my car for real emergencies. I think cell phones have become an invasive staple of American society, and for the most part I see them as annoying and inconveniencing. It should be noted here that I am a 20-year-old college student, and have held this opinion ever since cell phones became so popular in my mid teens.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  26. Abba kila

    Yes,i am addicted to my phone,b'cos i learn more & more tru internet to the fact that i can't without my phone.tnx.Abba kila,jigawa,nigeria!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  27. Alade Temitope Raphael

    Seriously am so addicted 2 my phone, i make money thru the software & internet configorations i create in my mobile-phone, so i get a lot of online custormers.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  28. Toby Tyler

    “Neuro-imaging studies have shown that those kids who are texting have the same area of the brain light up as an addict using heroin,” Dr Michael Seyffert said. >>>>>>> wait until the brain cancer reports start coming out in a couple of years ... then you'll see some serious stuff. Remember how the tobacco lobby had managed to keep a lid on smoking studies ... wait until the telecom lobby (which is bigger) can't keep the lid closed any longer!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Reply
  29. Toby Tyler

    wait until the brain cancer reports start coming out in a couple of years ... then you'll see some serious stuff. Remember how the tobacco lobby had managed to keep a lid on smoking studies ... wait until the telecom lobby (which is bigger) can't keep the lid closed any longer!!

    April 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  30. Keira

    Yes! I'm addicted to my blackberry and I'm not a teenager either. But so what? It's not like I'm being deprived of sleep or I stop doing something b/c I have to tweet! Besides, we're all into instant gratification...I admit it.

    Keira
    NY

    April 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  31. Pickles

    Sara Matzkin Croton-On-Hudson New York Facebook her!

    April 22, 2010 at 6:08 am | Reply
  32. kksharma

    Really to have cell phone,it is always inviting trouble for your own,as everytime,you are being disturbed by anybody who have no work,but want to just say hellow. Yes, I do have a cell phone,but it is useful if you are really in need of a EMERGENCY,otherwise it is of no use,when we are having landline phones with us in our home,office.but in today's world it has become a status symbol for everybody to buy COSTLY cell phone just to show the public that see I have a cell phone,and more over the bill which you have to pay for it,once you get it,more painful,as you cann't challange the cell phone company regarding the billed amount-they always say what is billed amount is correct-they don't want to listem the CUSTOMER.

    May 2, 2010 at 9:36 am | Reply
  33. Johnny Bacala

    I not only think its addictive, it think it's a form of mental illness.

    Go anywhere and these morons never maake any eye contact with anyone, they just stare at there cell phone.

    Talk about a security blanket.

    The parents are at fault by giving these spoiled brats a cell phone to begin with.

    No wonder all the test scores are down in school.

    Distractions-Distractions, cell phones, computers, video games.

    We're bringing up the zombie generation

    August 25, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  34. Steve o

    I know I am addicted to my phone can't put it down:( running my jobs sadly.

    October 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  35. Sophie

    ever since i got unlimited texts i havent been able to put down my phone i never let it out of my sight it has actually taken over my life.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:56 am | Reply
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