Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:09AM - 99 Views

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Young people’s attachment to their mobile phones is eroding their personal relationships, according to a new study.

The claims come after research revealed that young adults — in addition to sending over 100 texts — check their mobile up to 60 times a day.

Experts behind a new study have now said compulsively checking a mobile phone is an addiction similar to compulsive spending or credit card misuse.

It seems to me young people have always found ways to “erode their personal relationships” with whatever the technology of the moment happened to be, whether it was TV or videogames or smartphones. Then, they grow up and their behavior changes. Maybe it’s more serious this time around and they won’t grow out of it, but I doubt it.

I’ve written here before about waiting for the true “convergance” device that does anything, and I think the next generation of smartphones may be it. I’ve been playing with my new Samsung Galaxy SIII and, well, talk about addicted. It’s almost scary how many functions it has. I used to carry around a still camera, a basic video camera and a digital tape recorder. The phone now replaces all three. My GPS is in the trunk of the car, because the phone does that, too. What else? It’s a flashlight, a magnifying glass, a bar code and QR code reader, an Internet searcher, a radio with mutiple, peronalized stations, a TV and God knows what else.

The coolest thing about it might be its NFC — near field communications. If you’ve seen the ads, it might seem like a mere gimmick — touch phone screens and two people can instantly share a video, say, or music play list. But imagine what’s next with NFC — one half in the phone and the other half in an external device that can go just about anywhere. Touch your phone to the device, and it will, oh, unlock your door, or turn on the TV or start you car or perform just about any other functtion you can think of.

Go ahead, trust me —My favorite headline so far this week: “The least-trusted jobs in America: Congress members and car salespeople.” People from the medical profession were the most trusted — nurses, pharmacists and doctors. Advertising practitioners and stockbrokers join the politicians and salespeople at the bottom:

There are a couple ways to read this. First, we trust people we have no choice but to trust. Nurses and doctors and engineers and professors and priests and psychologists aren’t merely professionals, they’re experts in fields where expertise comes at a high price. Most of those jobs require significant post-secondary education in something the average person doesn’t know much about. We trust their honesty partly because we’re rarely in a position to prove them wrong.

On the other hand, in professions where consumers or patients are more likely to have strong opinions — or feel a real sense of agency — it seems we’re more likely to distrust supposed experts. We choose what cars to buy, what ads to look at, what politicians to elect, what stocks to buy, what insurance policy to purchase … and choosing between competing options forces us to distrust or disparage the choice we don’t make.

I see journalists in the middle of the pack, which is a little higher than we have scored in the past. Only 24 percent of those responding said we rate high or very high for honesty and ethical standards. Interesting that nurses rate higher than doctors, by the way. Wonder why.

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