Are you addicted to your cell phone?
Could you last a day without your cell phone? If your answer is "no," join the club. It's safe to say many of us are addicted to our devices. In some cases, our phones are literally attached at the hip.
It wasn't hard to find New Jersey residents who admit they'd rather be texting and Facebooking than dealing with people in real life.
"I'm actually addicted to my cell phone, and I am a little frustrated about it because sometimes it distracts me from the important things that I should be doing," said Dyneecia Shorter-Murphy, a Neptune resident. "If I'm supposed to be helping my daughter with homework, sometimes I'll pick the phone up. Or if I'm at work, sometimes I find myself picking my phone up, checking it."
While it offers her no comfort, Shorter-Murphy said she believes she's just one of millions obsessed with their electronic sidekicks.
"In the future, it's just going to turn into zombies walking," she said. "You don't pay attention to anything else. You just pay attention to the device in front of you."
In a recent AT&T survey, more than 60 percent of respondents said they sleep right next to their phone on a regular basis. More than half said they feel ill-at-ease or uncomfortable when their phone is out of reach at any time.
Brielle resident Anne Nissim said she understands the torture of going without a phone for a while.
"I almost go through withdrawal I think," Nissim said, noting her job requires that the phone be locked away in a drawer.
Not everyone feels so guilty, though. Michele Ellis of Lincroft noted we're living in a culture that demands rapid response, and that's why everyone must be "on" 24-7.
"We've become accustom to people getting back to us immediately, so we sort of feel like we have to do that as well," she said.
There are those who aren't emotionally and visually attached to their phones, at least as of now. Many expressed fascination over the fact that, no matter where you go, so many heads are looking down instead of straight ahead.
"It's definitely an epidemic," said Chris Maffia of Neptune. "I do see people constantly on it."
Nearly a quarter of respondents in the AT&T survey said they spend more time texting, tweeting and emailing than talking to people face-to-face.