Information Overload: Addicted to your mobile phone?

April 1, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 1, 2011 at 11:02 p.m.

By CJ Castillo

A survey released recently by YouGov, on behalf of the UK-based company SecurEnvoy, found that one-third of mobile phone owners notice their phone is missing within 15 minutes, 17 percent notice within 5 minutes and 61 percent noticing within an hour. The survey included results from about 2,000 mobile phone users.

At first, when I read about this survey on, I wasn't sure why we needed to know this information. However, the more I read, the more I was intrigued.

According to Steve Watts, the co-found of SecurEnvoy, the findings of this survey suggest that "mobile phones have become part of the national psyche, with people carrying them around much in the same way as they carry their wallets and purses."

Forty percent of males would notice their cell phones were missing within 15 minutes, compared to 29 percent of females.

Age also may be a factor, with 28 percent of people within the ages of 18 and 24 noticing a missing phone within 5 minutes, compared to 13 percent of those age 55 or older.

I have my mobile phone at my side always. I'd probably be in that group that notices a missing phone within 5 minutes. And the few times that I have left home without my mobile phone, by accident, I felt like I was riding a bicycle without wheels.

I don't know if that makes sense, but I felt like something was missing. I felt lost. What if I got lost while driving around? How will I find my way without my GPS? (I hear maps come in handy.)

What if I eat a wonderful ham sandwich for lunch? How will I share the experience without a phone to take a picture and share on Twitter? Hmm, maybe not having a mobile phone all the time can be a good thing.

Another thing to consider is how much valuable information we have stored on our mobile phones. How many of us have important contact numbers, text messages, photos and files, stored on our mobile phones?

And what about those of us who have our e-mail accounts on our phones. What were to happen if we left our phones in a store or some other public setting?

Is your information secure? It's something to think about. With mobile phones becoming more powerful and acting as mini-computers we carry around, we need to be smart when protecting the information stored on them.

CJ Castillo writes about geeky stuff for the Victoria Advocate. You can contact her at Please send all correspondence c/o Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.



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