INTERCOURSE, PENNSYLVANIA - A study that concluded last weekend revealed some psychological and sociological effects of cell phone usage. For quite some time there have been questions about a steady stream of microwave radiation placed against our head, but scientists paid by the cell phone industry said cell phones are safe.
Dr. Rod Goddly saw psychological and social issues associated with cell phone use: "We first put subjects and their cell phones (turned on) in a room with other people and gave them light topics to discuss and with hidden cameras observing their behavior." On the outset it seemed like a normal social setting, but every few minutes each person would pull out his or her phone, look at the status screen. When each one was interviewed later and asked about their behavior, they each said they wanted to make sure they were in range.
Goddly explained they then put the subjects in a dining hall with clearly posted signs: "All Cell Phones Must be Turned Off". They were given lunch, interesting lectures and a question and answer time with the lecturers - all followed by discussion among themselves.
The first discovery was an noticeable angst that developed when one who was a steady user was asked to turn the power off for 2 hours.
Taking it one step further on day two, the researchers collected all the cell phone from the subjects and took them on an outing that included hiking, a boat ride, fine dining and a comedy show. In all they had lots of activity, but after 12 hours of no cell phones, the events of the day where small by comparison to the complaints. Dr. Rod said, "By the end of the day most people were not so much interested in sharing their takes of the adventures of the day as their need to check their messages."
One woman said she was having a great day without her electronic leash and thought it was nice to have one adventured filled day without the distractions that come from modern electronic toys. Nobody else seemed to agree, and she was soon treated as an outcast from the group, like the only sober person at a crack house.
At the end of the experiment, the subjects were asked to wait in a room while their phones were retrieved. On the coffee table were left pictures of drug addicts and alcoholics portrayed characteristically. Also addiction recovery literature was left out on end tables. Before long many were talking about drunks and addicts they knew and the sad lives they lived. One added that there is so much more they could be enjoying if their happiness didn't depend on their addictions.
"Some people just don't get it." They agreed.