Phones turn students into slaves

08:33, December 14, 2010      

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According to Xu Jingyang, a 23-year-old sophomore pursuing her second major in journalism at Communication University of China in Beijing, her cellphone "is as important as [her] lover."

Xu takes her cellphone wherever she goes, powering it on for 24 hours a day. When she sleeps, she puts it so easily and quickly within reach at anytime.

"I rely on my mobile phone too much. I don't dare turn it off. If it is powered off, I'm very uneasy to cut connections with others unless there's a tool that can replace the mobile phone, it's impossible for me to leave it," she told the Global Times.

Xu makes phone calls for dozens of times a day and sends hundreds of text massages, which costs her a least 300-yuan ($45) per month. One advantage is that her frequent phone use has increased her speed in sending text massages.

"I can send them without looking at the keyboard," she said.

Cellphone dependency

Xu is not the only student addicted to cellphones. About 80 percent of college students surveyed at six universities in Hunan Province have what is called "mobile phone dependency syndrome." Among them, about 48 percent are "serious" cases, according to a recent report, College Students' Mobile Phone Dependency Syndrome Research, by Ouyang Youquan, president of Central South University's School of Literature in Changsha.

High anxiety

Typical cellphone dependency syndrome is anxiety if the phone isn't with the user. If it isn't ringing frequently the user will feel uncomfortable and even if there are no calls or text messages, he or she will frequently check the phone anyway, according to the report.

A 19-year-old sophomore surnamed Lin, who also declined to use her full name or identify her college in Fujian Province, said cellphones play a very important role in her life.

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