8 On Your Side: Cell phone addiction

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Ring tones and vibrations are part of the fabric of society.  Our country is teeming with cell phones.

“It’s rampant,” said behavioral therapist Scott Anderson. “ It’s definitely epidemic.”

Anderson helps people overcome all sorts of addictions. One that’s rising has to do with cell phones.

“It’s right in your hand. It’s immediate. It’s convenient,” Anderson said.

Anderson tells 8 On Your Side 18 to 35 year-olds are most consumed by cell phones.

Some are obsessed— as hooked on checking their phone as some people are on alcohol or drugs.

Anderson explains that social media sites, easily accessible by the swipe of a finger, help people feel better about themselves. It’s a feeling they can’t let go.

“It really fills voids and needs of people these days,” Anderson said.

According to a study by Pew Research Center, 67 percent of cell phone users admitted to looking at their cell phone when it didn’t ring or vibrate. The average cell phone user checks the phone 35 times a day. 61 percent of users admit they sleep with their phones under their pillows or next to their beds.

But, for some people, it’s more than a habit—it’s an addiction, just like any other.

“I believe it’s unraveling the social fabric of our own society in that we are not having the human experience,” Anderson said.

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