“From morning until night, anytime, everywhere” -- it’s the ubiquitous cell phone that Weekly Playboy (Aug 10) is talking about. An alien visiting our planet would surely take the device for part of the human body, so firmly attached to it does it seem. In Japan, some 36 million of them were sold in 2008 alone.
The few remaining abstainers carp in vain -- the cell phone is here to stay.
But what do people do with that inseparable appendage of theirs all day long? Weekly Playboy polled 600 men across the country to find out.
The first question it poses is where. “Everywhere” turns out to be no exaggeration: 76.8% of respondents use it at home, 68.1% on public transportation, 49.6% at work, 46.7% while out socializing, 35.1% while walking. A significant portion of waking life -- some day no doubt some researcher will determine the percentage -- is spent on the phone.
Doing what, besides talking? Email above all -- 98% of cell phone users use it for that, the poll shows. Forty-six percent browse websites, 45.7% send or receive photo-mail, 13.8% watch motion pictures of some kind, 11% play games.
Email to and from loved ones has changed the nature of commuting, lifting the commuter in spirit far above the jam-packed cars that confine and oppress the body.
“Especially on Monday mornings,” says a 28-year-old construction company employee about his train-time exchanges with his girlfriend. “I tell her, ‘Well, it’s another week, let’s make it pay, eh? Oh, and by the way, where should we go next Saturday?’ Naturally, I throw in a lot of heart signs…”
Somewhat bashfully, we’re told, a 28-year-old commuter, who works in a karaoke bar, shows a Weekly Playboy reporter a message he’s composing to the sharer of his bed: “Thank you for last night! We were up pretty late, weren’t we? I’m still throbbing down there! You’re working today, right? Well, hang in there! (Heart sign).”
Cell phone-transfixed commuters not emailing are more likely than not to be web surfing, and here we’re in for a surprise, because what’s claiming the most attention is daily news sites (which 73.2% of users habitually access), or weather sites (65%) -- far above social networking sites (20.7%), erotic sites (5.9%), manga sites (a mere 4.7%) and prose fiction sites (3.6%).
“I don’t subscribe to a newspaper, so I check the news sites on my mobile,” says a 31-year-old ad agency employee. “It gives me something to talk about with my bosses and subordinates.”
“I’m in sales, which means I travel around a lot, so I’m usually busy checking train connections on my mobile,” says a 38-year-old in IT.
“Mixi -- I can’t tear myself away from it,” says a 35-year-old consultant, naming Japan’s most popular social networking site. A lot of times I get invited to go out drinking via mixi, so to and from work and on my lunch break I’m always logged in.”
Though ranking surprisingly low on Weekly Playboy’s scale (15th place), erotic sites do have their following among commuters and lunch-time surfers. “The idea of getting caught peeping,” says a 27-year-old photographer, “only makes it more exciting.”© Japan Today