Yesterday, I tried to turn on my cell phone and nothing happened.

I had left it at the office while on errands and its battery faded and faded - to the point where I couldn't even turn it on until I plugged it in for a few minutes. During those few minutes, I wondered how many calls I'd missed or text messages I needed to return.

Then, I calmed down.

My memories of not being constantly connected to the world came rushing back - rotary phones, party lines and, OMG, telephone operators - hi, grandma! (She was one of the best!).

Here in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, we're still not as connected as other regions, but the addiction of cellphone-itis is running rampant. Are you a victim?

Be honest on these questions -

  • How often do you check your smartphone?
  • Do you feel almost "undressed" if you don't have your cell phone?
  • Do you sleep with the phone?
  • Do you still have a "landline" into your home or are you completely wireless?
  • If you have a landline, which number do you remember - home phone or cell phone?
  • Do you check facts on the cell phone (or tablet) while you're watching TV or having conversations? (Conversations are what some people do face-to-face.)
  • A recent multi-national survey (Time magazine) showed that the younger the adult, the more they depend on their smart phones. That's no surprise. However, a huge 84 percent of those surveyed said they couldn't last one day without the smartphone. Over half of those questioned said they sleep with their phone. And, about 20 percent said they check their phone every 10 minutes.

    The slippery slope between "convenience" and "addiction" is pretty steep and a lot of us are sliding.