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TIME’s Wireless Issue examines phone dependency in the modern age

TIME magazine’s special wireless issue for this week takes an interesting look at how phones are practically now an extension of our minds and bodies.

The cover for “THE WIRELESS ISSUE. 10 Ways Your Phone is Changing the World” notably showcases more than 200 Instagram photographs from across the world; a mobile device captured each image. The magazine also features an in-depth, Qualcomm-partnered mobility poll that illustrates human dependency on smartphones and tablets. The poll tallied worldwide responses from 5,000 people online and by phone in June and July, and a whopping 84 percent said they could not go one day without a mobile device.

More poll results (via TIME Mobility Poll):

  • Mobile Use & Attitudes
  • – 84 percent worldwide said they couldn’t go a single day without their mobile devices in hand
  • – If forced to choose between the two, 65 percent worldwide opted to take their wireless mobile device with them in the morning instead of their lunch; 44 percent would leave their wallets at home in favor of their device
  • – 61 percent worldwide plan to replace their phone in less than two years
  • – 50 percent of Americans say they sleep with their mobile next to the bed—as do more than 80 percent of 18-24 year olds
  • – 32 percent of all respondents say that if it was their choice they would prefer to communicate by text message
  • – 30 percent said that being without their mobile for even short periods leaves them feeling anxious
  • – 23 percent of all respondents say they screen almost all their calls and tend to reply to many voicemails via text or email
  • Dating
  • – 55 percent (76 percent of 25-29 year olds) worldwide had flirted with someone via text message
  • – 43 percent have used texting to ask someone out on a date
  • – 24 percent of respondents globally said they sent a text message to coordinate or commit adultery – including 56 percent in China
  • Parenting
  • – 66 percent of people feel that their wireless devices have made them better parents
  • – 70 percent of parents think the benefits for kids of learning about technology outweigh the potential for distractions from studies
  • – The average age thought appropriate for a child to own a mobile phone is 13 years
  • Government & Politics
  • – 75 percent worldwide think governments should not have the power to shut off wireless networks for the purpose of suppressing peaceful dissent
  • – In the U.S., 28 percent say they are better informed about the news and current events; in China, that number jumps to 79 percent
  • – 40 percent in the U.S. say mobile technology has strengthened the economy; in China, 81 percent agree with that
  • – 50 percent agree that wireless mobile technology made the government more accountable to the people
  • Business
  • – 26 percent say they feel guilty if they don’t promptly respond to a work-related message outside of normal work hours
  • – In the U.S. only 19 percent said it is easier for them to be away from the office because of mobile technology
  • Multi-Tasking
  • – 64 percent (77 percent of 18-24 year olds) use their devices while watching TV
  • 58 percent globally (74 percent in India) use their wireless mobile device while also using a laptop or desktop computer

“It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones. Not the knife or match, the pen or page. Only money comes close—always at hand, don’t leave home without it,” wrote TIME Deputy Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs. “But most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us, don’t reach for it and check it every few minutes, and however useful money is in pursuit of fame, romance, revolution, it is inert compared with a smart phone—which can replace your wallet now anyway.”

Additional stories in the wireless issue include: