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July 1, 2014

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Phone-mad ‘phubbers’ happy to be left alone

MORE than half of the people who took part in a survey about cellphone use described themselves as “phubbers,” the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

“Phubbers” are people so obsessed with their smartphones that they are unable to remove their eyes from the screen even when in the company of family and friends. In the past they would have been called “antisocial.”

The poll of 2,000 Shanghai residents found that people with higher incomes and a higher education are more likely to be “phubbers.”

More than 40 percent of respondents said they frequently check their cellphones or play with them when they are “free.”

About 25 percent of people with a college degree said they play their phones whenever they have nothing to do, compared to just 11 percent of those with a high school education and 6 percent with a middle school education.

Respondents said they spent an average of 2.7 hours a day surfing the Internet on computers, tablet PCs and cellphones, compared with two hours a day watching TV and less than an hour listening to the radio or reading a newspaper.

People in their 20s spend the most time online, at about 4.5 hours per day.

Reading news, using social media and shopping are the top reasons for using the Internet, the poll claimed.


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