Cell phones and technology play an increasingly important role in our lives. They keep us connected and working on the go, keep us in touch with distant relatives, friends and loved ones and even provide us with entertainment when we need it most. Unfortunately, a lot of this occurs at the most inappropriate times possible.

And that's just it. We have become so dependent and attached to these pocket-sized devices that we must use them every chance we get, to the point that it's excessive, obsessive and sometimes rude. Lance Ulanoff, Editor in Chief over at Mashable, asked a wonderful question in his article about how distracting technology is: what is happening to us? He semi-jokingly states:

"When I’m walking with my head bowed, staring intently at a little 4-inch screen, there’s another noodle head heading right towards me, doing the exact same thing. It’s a wonder there aren’t more collisions on the sidewalks of Manhattan."

Ulanoff isn't asking a question that hasn't been asked before – but it is a great read and I highly recommend it if you get the chance. We all have wondered, at some point or another, why we can't escape the grips of mobile technology. It's because these extremely portable devices have made us more connected than ever before; we never have to feel as if we're out of reach, alone or more than an arm's length or few taps away from Google search results.

Unlike Ulanoff, I can't say I ever walk the sidewalks of any busy streets with my face buried in a phone. I try to take any time that I'm outside for what it is: a breath of fresh air, time away from a computer and a mental flush of all the clutter that tends to build up in my head while sitting at a desk for hours on end. When I'm not working, I'm trying my best to disconnect and distance myself from technology. This only works part of the time as technology is my passion and I can never stay too far away for too long. But I do enjoy a few minutes here and there without a buzz or chime pulling me away from the real world.

Even still, I've got it pretty bad. Although I can't necessarily relate to Ulanoff with the distracted walking he speaks of, I have experienced "Inattention Blindness" (for short, the apparent lack of memory of something you know you have done) a time or two after a few days of sleep deprivation. But where my main distraction or obsession occurs is with incoming notifications. As soon as my phone begins to buzz in my pocket or on my desk, it begins tearing away at my conscious. I usually have it in my hand, tapping out a reply, before the buzzing stops. Not only that, but I suffer from the age-old "phantom vibrations" pretty badly, too. I compulsively check my phone after thinking I heard or felt if vibrate when it never really did.

I have, however, managed to get a grip on my problems and narrow them down to two key times. I only compulsively check my phone when I'm sitting at my desk and working (mainly in anticipation of an email from the boss man). The other is when someone is talking and not getting to the point quickly enough. I have what you could call a hamster attention span disorder – if something isn't delectably interesting, innately, I will check my phone constantly. It isn't because I expect a notification to just pop up on demand, but my phone has become my scapegoat ... my safe haven from boredom and awkward situations. (Oh, don't even deny it! You've done it, too!)

Admittedly, this is still pretty bad. And I am working on it. But at least you won't find me sitting in an emergency room after walking into a light post on the street corner ... or worse, a parked truck.

Do any of you suffer from some of the same things? Phantom vibrations, the compulsive need to check your phone, distracted walking or Inattention Blindness? Do you use your phone to squeeze your way out of an awkward situation? How do you disconnect? Share your stories and advice below!

Image via New York Times

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99 Reactions to this post

"What bad habits do you have because of your cell phone?"

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Crystal Swanson
Crystal Swanson It's made me lazy...used to WALK to people's houses to see what they were up to - show up to a friends house without texting first and get yelled at !! (hasn't phased me, getting a new android on Monday HAHA)
Lee Grip Gresham
Lee Grip Gresham @corey wilson its called phonaholic, lol
Jose Sut
Jose Sut Using in the batroom
Shawn Poling
Shawn Poling Checking email and text every 5 mins
Paul Davis
Paul Davis Porn..... massive amounts of porn with midgets and donkeys.
Cory Wilson
Cory Wilson Android need to get fast email like blackberry then it will the best in whole world
Cory Wilson
Cory Wilson Is it such thing as phone -acholics.?
Robert Croyle II
Robert Croyle II !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Robert Croyle II
Robert Croyle II !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tyler Barron
Tyler Barron Youtube and apps and games
Sunny Patel
Sunny Patel porn where ever i go...
C Bryan Thomas
C Bryan Thomas I am a device junkie. In one year I had 6 different smartphones. As fast as these devices are evolving you have to be a millionaire to keep up.
Ben Garcia
Ben Garcia Texting @ work.
Ateeb Tallaat Khan
Ateeb Tallaat Khan Texting commentary of people and how they are dressed during class, facebook during class
JesusNveronica Flores
JesusNveronica Flores Gaming ,movies ,texting,and Facebook.using the phone to its full potential....
Austin Proaps
Austin Proaps Texting in class
Jill Godfrey
Jill Godfrey Txtng and gaming with my new android
Nisha Collins
Nisha Collins Txtn while driving, not paying attention to tha kids sumtimes, fb, etc
Tony Valadez
Tony Valadez Commenting in phonedog's Facebook status
Collin Hoylman
Collin Hoylman Facebook, texting, and all the games I play lol. HELP!
Martin Hernandez
Martin Hernandez Drunk tex, drunk calling, social networking and Porn!
Robert Skeen
Robert Skeen Texting while I drive
Richard Melendez
Richard Melendez Youtubeing while shitting lol ...shitting will not be the same anymore without YouTube
Karl D. Green
Enrique Calderon
Enrique Calderon Checking my phone to be working when it doesn't beep after a while.
Steev Adelesthirdchin Convery
Steev Adelesthirdchin Convery Walking into a fountain in the mall and then trying to sue them, because I must be on the phone while walking.
Nirav Insomniac
Nirav Insomniac miss a living...
Jeremy Abad
Jeremy Abad Portable Porn!! Travel Masterbatorium!
Lee Grip Gresham
Lee Grip Gresham Sitting on the toilet longer
Sharang Karve
Sharang Karve People who said 'facebook' are you sending he comment from your phone?
Hansel Starley
Hansel Starley Walk looking down.
Erman Guido
Erman Guido Using it while eating, peeing, watching tv, tlkn with someone
Nick Koval
Nick Koval Yeah Facebook
Ernesto Moreno
Ernesto Moreno Texting during work haha
Kristopher Davis
Kristopher Davis @Brittany Torres ...who wouldn't pay attention to u at dinner...wow. !!
George Vasquez
George Vasquez Cheating in my Electrician class with the handy apps lol
Marcos Oliva
Marcos Oliva in order to enjoy a good meal or a good dump i must be on the phone
Marcos Oliva
Marcos Oliva i'v bbecoma a taxtaholic. i do it all the time even during calls. no matter where i am.
Mista Christopher
Mista Christopher Yea Facebookn n Textn ppl back n forth at work....Instant Gratification is a Sin huh........ LoL
Francis Singh
Francis Singh facebook and texting, GOD I GET SO TEMPTED WHILE IM DRIVING! its all bad if i do repsond. i try to ignore it
Darryl Mouzone
Darryl Mouzone Texting and checking my phone every five minutes for Facebook or Google+ posts.
Douglas Fancy-huh Leonard
Douglas Fancy-huh Leonard Taking a dump while reading this :)
Joel Elizondo
Joel Elizondo Using it as a vibrator... What to soon?
Lamar Sarracino
Lamar Sarracino Playing angry birds!!!!
Levi G. Calderon
Levi G. Calderon Phantom notifications, I check my phone all the time lol.
Anthony Cifani
Anthony Cifani cheating on math tests
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz Checkin g for notification eeach 1 hoour during work time
Edwin En Wing Kong
Edwin En Wing Kong Facebook + youtube!
John Miller
John Miller Mobile porn nuf said lol
Jim Taylor
Jim Taylor It is making life impersonal.
Daniel Kallini
Daniel Kallini Facebook
Yvonne Soto
Yvonne Soto Facebook and email.....
Michael Mattingly
Michael Mattingly Checking for texts in five second increments immediately after sending one.
Roderick Powe II
Roderick Powe II Never wearing watches, and ignoring the clocks in my world because the phone tells me what time it really is.
Steve Griffith
Steve Griffith checking android market every 2-3 hours for updates for my apps
Keshon Ball
Keshon Ball The constant walking in to the wall or the constant doing something then must post in on facebook.
Christopher E. Truty
Christopher E. Truty Can't put the porn down
Patrice Moneaa
Patrice Moneaa Ignoring people when they tryna talk to me while texting xD
Jared Prado
Jared Prado Texting and not payinv attention
Marco Raymond
Marco Raymond on Facebook too much, and browsing also( but at school sometimes its a good thing to help me)
Amaryllis Ruiz-Chiang
Amaryllis Ruiz-Chiang Checking my email (literally) the second I wake up. Had to keep the phone in the living room to stop this.
Shawn Meadows
Shawn Meadows Whiping it out sitting akward moments.
Brittany Torres
Brittany Torres I think the rudest is using it at dinner, and while someone is trying to conversate with u. I have to tell myself, "just because I get a text, doesn't mean I have to answer it that second."
Jesse Bryant
Jesse Bryant Clicking my EVO 3D camera toggle
Herb Ramos
Herb Ramos Buying a new phone every 4 months... -___-
Tim Miyashiro
Tim Miyashiro Texting and checking Facebook during a lecture.
Philsudski Cooper
Philsudski Cooper Dependency!!!!
Antonio T-Dough Wooding
Antonio T-Dough Wooding Too focused on screen when someone right in front of me is talking to me lol
Keith Go Packers Boror
Keith Go Packers Boror Double tapping space bar on my computer for a period, because of iPhone : )
Raman Saini
Raman Saini facebook
Josh Lazenby
Josh Lazenby Spending 40 minutes in the bathroom because you're actually Facebooking from your pho... wait... aww hell. Gtg
Kamila Ansari
Kamila Ansari just addicted..to my phone24/7
Joseph Hyunsu Chun
Joseph Hyunsu Chun tossing up my phone.... and missing at times
Jamarius Williams
Jamarius Williams Also looking at porn!!!!
Farooq Abbasi
Farooq Abbasi checking the phone first thing as you wakeup.
Preston Schmith
Preston Schmith Looking at more porn than a guy prob should, its prob becomeing a personal problem lol
Maria Castro Bojorquez
Maria Castro Bojorquez Facebook n changing phones
Nick Catelli
Nick Catelli constantly annoyed about removing the dust and shit on my screen rather than paying attention to the actual content on it...
Jamarius Williams
Jamarius Williams Sexting too much.
Janson Murphy
Janson Murphy Angry birds during class............. Good thing is my email never overflows anymore, I delete or read emails instantly
Petr Seman
Petr Seman Checking time every two minutes
Abi-coco Fermartz
Abi-coco Fermartz i think every one agree facebook 24/7
Cezar Constantin Cociorba
Cezar Constantin Cociorba the constant texting and checking if i missed a call or if i have any battery left :))
Andy Solis Banuelos
Andy Solis Banuelos ignoring people :D (which is good at times )
Lester Dedrick
Lester Dedrick constant texting to the point where i feel my phone vibrate in my pocket, and i dont even have a text or call.....
Chevy Trucks
Chevy Trucks Texting, facebook and using the web.
Lewis Hachmeister
Lewis Hachmeister Drunk texting.
Sid Acidic
Sid Acidic constant browsing .
Jeff Alamillo
Jeff Alamillo Playing unblock me while taking a dump.
Daniel Thompson
Daniel Thompson excellent article, touches on many of the things that bother me about zombie phones and the what they create in people.
Jon Andrew
Jon Andrew Constant txting or facebooking :P
Humberto Rubio
Humberto Rubio mmm the phones them selves i have a habit of switching phones like every 3 months lol
Caleb Fleming
Caleb Fleming Facebook 24/7
Manas Sharma
Manas Sharma Phone sex??
Robert Salender
Robert Salender The JRPGs that constantly appear... screw Angry Birds.
Charles Brown
Charles Brown not having important numbers memorized
Sam Stuhler
Sam Stuhler Excessive Tweeting Disorder.
Alan Alty
Alan Alty I stroke my chode too hard.... :/
John Jenkins
John Jenkins Texting more than I talk to people. lol

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