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What do men do with their cell phones all day?

28 Comments

“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

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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I'd say the main functions of cell phones are 1) to project the veneer of sophistication, that you are "with it" with this wonderful new technology; and 2) to show your contempt for your fellow Japanese by ignoring them at every available opportunity.

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Pathetic and really indicates the extent to how the population has been dumbed down.. Still, it keeps the masses quiet and under control.

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1) to project the veneer of sophistication, that you are "with it" with this wonderful new technology;

Are you kidding? Cellphones have now been around years, and everyone has one, hardly new technology. I very much doubt anyone in a developed country still thinks that having a cellphone makes them look cool or sophisticated- do you?

I spend a lot of my time on the train emailing people to pass the time, and the suggestion that I or anyone else does that so that other people will think we are cool is just ridiculous.

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this guy feels superior to the Japanese by showing contempt and ignoring them at every available opportunity??

He is saying Japanese people to that to other Japanese people.

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I don't have one, and manage to waste time well enough without such technology.

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Try that in Mexico or any Latin American country!

elbudamexicano, I haven't been to your country lately (maybe I'll go back after the problem with the drug gangs has been taken care of), so I'm afraid I can't comment re cell phones. But I have been in Japan long enough to remember when people walked with their eyes pointed ahead (toward people) instead of downwards (towards telephones), and when they showed consideration and decent manners in public. These traits are disappearing, and I find that tragic and disturbing. Is attaching the term "racist" to everything with which you disagree really a persuasive technique?

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1) trying to look cool by having the latest cellphone 2)playing games 3)looking for girls/women to meet(either the traditional way or monetarily)

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I really don't get the people who think that anyone would use a cellphone to try and look cool. This is not 1990, and pretty much anyone over the age if 16 no longer thinks that there is anything cool about having a cellphone.

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Carrying a cell phone is now equivalent to wearing a wrist watch. Nothing special or cool about it. And Japan is not the only, and not even the first country where people seem absorbed in their gadget phones. Should I rattle off a list of European countries beginning with Italy whose citizens seem notorious for loud conversation on their mobiles just about anywhere, anytime?

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1) record up skirt photos and videos on train and at the station 2) watch said videos 3) email said videos to friends

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People say that having the latest phone is not trying to look cool. Think about the folks who Louis Vutton merchandise. Everyone and their mothers have them as a status symbol. I still get oh and ah when I use my iphone on the train. So yes using cellphones as status symbols is still happening regardless of what's happening in the rest ofthe world. It isn't the biggest status symbol but is still one nonetheless.

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I disagree- 10 year old kids and 75 year old grannies have cellphones, and unlike Louis Vuitton they cost next to nothing, so how can they be a status symbol? I haven't heard anyone oohing and aahing over my iPhone, every man and his dog has one these days. I agree with presto345- carrying a cellphone is like wearing a watch. Anyone who thinks that they are cool because they have the latest one is still living in 1990.

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Japan is nowhere near as annoying as the US with cell phones. Here in Japan, mostly people are sending messages, browsing, or playing games quietly. I was back in the US on a college campus last year for the first time in a few years and can't believe how no students there goes anywhere now without talking constantly on a mobile phone. Same with the airport in Detroit and Newark, everyone walking around between connecting flights all day in America with big baggy pants and talking on their phones.

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I haven't heard anyone oohing and aahing over my iPhone

Are iPhones at all popular here in Japan? Honestly, I haven't seen a single one, but I am way out of the city.

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Are iPhones at all popular here in Japan? Honestly, I haven't seen a single one, but I am way out of the city.

No, not really, due to them having less features and a more onerous contract than a normal Japanese phone. I see them occasionally, but that's all.

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Well my man only knows how to talk on the phone. Any buttons he is pushing, theyd be on me, thank you!

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Pathetic and really indicates the extent to how the population has been dumbed down.. Still, it keeps the masses quiet and under control.

What the hell is your problem? So people switched from news paper to cell phones.. big deal.

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iPhones are the top-selling phones in Japan, I believe.

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The iphone has more featurs than the average Japanese phone. Don'tf orget apps.

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iPhones are the top-selling phones in Japan, I believe.

Hard to say, since Apple and SoftBank refuse to disclose sales numbers. This article in Wireless Japan Watch (http://wirelesswatch.jp/2009/06/09/iphone-in-japan-past-present-and-future/) claims to shed some light on sales, but it requires a paid subscription. I read in the WSJ that iPhone sales had tanked last fall, but not sure now. Honestly, I have never seen a single one here.

Don't forget apps.

Indeed. The Twitter feeds and "pull finger for fart" best-selling apps. Not sure what I would do without a smart phone... hold on, I don't have one.

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iPhones are the top-selling phones in Japan, I believe.

You believe incorrectly. Sales were so underwhelming after introduction that Softbank was giving them away free (with contract). There was much in the news about this last year.

The iphone has more features than the average Japanese phone. Don't forget apps.

Don't forget no 1-seg, unless you count a clunky add-on.

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Pawatan, you should pay more attention to this year's news:

http://mashable.com/2009/07/04/iphone-japan/

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I see the survey's been updated for July. By my reckoning, the 32GB 3GS iPhone's the no1 selling smartphone, and no4 cellphone overall. 8GB 3G is no.2 smartphone and no.8 overall, unless the Walkman Phone Premier3 counts as a smartphone?

http://bcnranking.jp/category/subcategory_0010.html

While this hardly counts as conclusive, I bought an iPhone at the weekend in a large electronics store and the Softbank stand was easily the busiest. There was also an article this month showing Softbank's sales had risen while AU and Docomo's had fallen off considerably.

And remember it's the best selling but not the best sold. It'll take a few months but you'll be seeing a lot more iPhones on the train by Xmas.

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who cares, really

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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.”

Kind of sums up J view of erotiscism.

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It's then walking while browsing/texting that gets me. Just not necessary.

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Status symbol? More like nerd symbol. I never want to be seen using my phone.

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One thing I find it very interesting is that most people I know have an iPhone are not in the technical field (I work in IT).

Anyway, I only use my phone to call in case of emergency, work related issue and talk to my wife and kids. The rest is to play Sudoku while I am on the train and listen to music. Oh! Also used as alarm clock. The rest, if the number is not recognized, I will ignore the call. After all, if it is emergency, they will either leave message or call back. If it is not, I do not really care.

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