Has America become a nation of phone addicts?

By MobileFOXBusiness

Americans are having a tough time putting down their phones.

Excessive use of mobile phones may be taking a toll on the travel industry as tourists spend more time on their phones and spend less money at amusement parks and restaurants. It’s the attack of the “travel zombies”—vacation goers unable to unplug and move their eyes away from their phone screens. The phenomenon was noted earlier this week in a USA Today story.

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Ryan Knutson, telecom reporter at The Wall Street Journal,  told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” how hard it is to give the cell phone a rest, even during vacation.

“I use it for my map, to plan everything out, to check into places,” he said. “You kind of need it everywhere you go.”

According to a Baylor University study, college-aged women spend an average of 10 hours a day on their phones while men spend 8 hours a day.

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And a May 2016 poll conducted by Common Sense Media revealed that 50% of teens felt they were addicted to their mobile devices.

“People are recognizing that this may be a problem if even teenagers that are on their phones all the time feel like they are actually addicted to it,” Knutson said.

Constant notifications on Twitter (NASDAQ:TWTR) are addicting by their “very nature,” Knutson said.

Wireless companies, cellphone manufactures and social media companies will ultimately face a challenge of reducing the amount of time spent on phones, he said.

Last month two investors in Apple – Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, a pension fund – said iPhone maker needs to pay more attention to the impact of its products on kids.

And a group of tech pioneers who were some of the first employees at Silicon Valley giants Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) have formed a coalition to warn of the dangers of the very thing they helped build: a tech driven society.

“There’s a growing movement,” Knutson said. “Even early engineers … are coming out to say that this is actually addicting. They built it to be addicting because they want to increase the amount of time people spend using these apps.”

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