What Would You Give Up For Cell Phone Service?

Some say brushing their teeth, others say chocolate. Other say sex.

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If Skynet launches tomorrow, and the world is wiped out, and global communications are taken over by a robot army, what would you give up to get decent cell reception back? The L.A. Times points to a new survey that says a third of Americans would give up sex to avoid losing their cell phone. Over half of Americans surveyed said they would take a week off drinking, eating chocolate, and consuming caffeine before giving up their cell phones. Some would even sacrifice their dental work, or their right to be served in restaurants or corner stores:

One-third would give up sex, 22% would give up their toothbrushes (versus 40% of iPhone users, who evidently love their phone more than clean teeth) and 21% would rather go shoeless before separating from a mobile phone. Sixty-six percent sleep with their smartphones by their side.

The warm glow of an iPhone screen keeps their cheeks warm on cold mornings in January. Journalism students at the University of Maryland asked a group of students from around the world to go without the internet or any media, to quit it all cold turkey, for a whole day. Every one of them hated it. "It was surprising to see how desperate I was. I felt a little pathetic," one said. "My senses went numb and I felt paralyzed," said another. The reactions are all variations on these. A bunch of students said they felt dead inside, or like a drug addict in withdrawal, after their 24 hours away from the net. One student, probably an aspiring writer, said of his time away, "Emptiness overwhelmed me."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.