Since the very first cellphone call was made in 1973, these slim, glossy, rectangular objects have become one of the most important things in our lives. But just how important? More than our partner or our friends, for example? Could we easily give them up? GearHungry.com, the leading resource for reviews in men’s gear, gadgets, and gifts, surveyed 3,400 Americans in order to find out.
And the first fact they discovered was that the average Marylander believes they could only last 1.6 days without their cellphone (on par with a national average of 1.6 days)… imagine, being temporarily without Grubhub or Postmates, or access to Twitter and Instagram… how would you eat? And how would the world know what you had eaten?! If you’re from North Dakota, this would be utter torture; they would only be able to keep this madness up for half a day at the most. In contrast, relaxed Mainers sound as if they’d almost welcome the break, saying they could do without their cellphone for an impressive 3.9 days.
It’s hardly surprising that during a time when human connections are more limited than ever, we would turn to our phones; the average user claims their device usage has increased by over a third (34%) since the start of the pandemic. However, a not-so-romantic 47% of those in relationships admit that their cell is the first thing they look at in the morning, before even speaking to their partner! Perhaps as a result (no-one likes to feel they come second best to a lump of metal and plastic), almost 1 in 5 (18%) say their partner’s phone usage has caused arguments…
It also seems like increased cellphone use is in danger of affected our mental health; 29% say they often find themselves aimlessly opening and scrolling through apps every few minutes, despite knowing nothing has changed, while over 1 in 4 (28%) say that having constant access to tech during the pandemic has made their pre-existing anxiety about the virus worse – perhaps that’s no real surprise, when over 1 in 10say they’re checking for the latest COVID-19 updates twice a day. And 8% have even experienced ‘Ringxiety’ (phantom ringing/vibration syndrome) during lockdown – the sensation where you’re convinced your phone is going off, but it genuinely isn’t.
Thankfully, well over half(61%) say that they’ll be happy to go back to, or focus more on, non-tech-related activities when the pandemic has passed, like going outside and meeting up with other people.
‘It sounds like we’re taking our cellphones a bit too much for granted,’ says Seiji Ishii, Editor in Chief at GearHungry.com. ‘While this is fairly understandable due to the fact there aren’t many other distractions during a lockdown, it’s good to see that people will put their cellphone use into perspective a bit more when they’re allowed to go out and do things again.’