More than 55 percent of Chinese university students spent their summer holiday at home with their cell phones, a new study has found.
China University Media Union conducted a survey of 1,937 college students across the nation in August, with 67.2 percent of respondents admitting they were addicted to cell phones and 9.46 percent claiming they had developed a heavy addiction and felt "as if the cell phone were part of their body."
Nan Ding, a student at an Inner Mongolia university, said the first thing she does every morning is to check her cell phone for missed calls and unread messages. Shen then constantly checks for new messages on social networking sites such as Weibo and WeChat.
"What I fear most is a blackout at home," she said. "My world would become really dark if the cell phone battery can't be charged."
About 56 percent of students said their cell phone addiction did not change with the arrival of summer vacation, while another 31.9 percent said their obsession with their phones worsened during this time.
Li Yuanzhe from a Sichuan-based university said he spent eight to 14 hours on his cell phone every day.
Chen Jianan, another university student, said "How time flies when you play with your cell phone! Sometimes, you find you did nothing but play with it all day."
She admitted the habit brought trouble. "I hate socializing. My normal work-rest schedules are disturbed, my values have been adversely affected by online opinions and I don't care much about the real world or people around me," she admitted.
Cao Guodong of Inner Mongolia Normal University said cell phone addiction can adversely affect physical and mental health, and has great implications for all society.
Yuan Xin, the director of student mental health at Nankai University, said it is natural that students spend a lot of time on computers and cell phones in the Internet age, but "it's also a loss to spend way too much time in the virtual world without communication and interaction with the real world".
"Face-to-face communication and interaction often bring unexpected benefits, as well as enriched and comprehensive experiences," Yuan added.
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