Are you addicted to your cell phone? That depends on how impulsive and materialistic you are. American researchers James Roberts and Stephen Pirog suggest mobile phones are more than just communication tools. Their study shows phones are actually yet another form of consumption.
Roberts and Pirog quote different earlier studies, pointing out that cell phones can be status symbols or even extensions of ‘the self’ and that average young adults on a typical day check their cell 60 times and send 109.5 text messages.
To better look at mobile phones as consumption tools, Roberts and Pirog asked 191 business students to complete a questionnaire about cell phone use, materialism and impulsiveness. The students for example answered how extravagant or easily tempted they were and how much they liked owning luxurious things.
With the results Roberts and Pirog were able to show that the level of materialism and impulsiveness of a person can actually predict his or her mobile phone use and instant messaging use. The more materialistic and impulsive, the more likely to use the cell phone extensively.
It’s of course not just the phone, but its functions that can be addictive, Roberts and Pirog explain. ‘These and other technological devices can be another way for consumers to cope with the exigencies of life and self-esteem struggles.’
Roberts, J., & Pirog, S. (2012). A preliminary investigation of materialism and impulsiveness as predictors of technological addictions among young adults Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1 (-1), 1-7 DOI: 10.1556/JBA.1.2012.011