When Gretchen Baxter gets home from work as a New York City book editor, she checks her BlackBerry at the door.
“I think we are attached to these devices in a way that is not always positive,” says Baxter, who’d rather focus at home on her husband and 12-year-old daughter. “It’s there and it beckons. That’s human nature (but) ”¦ we kind of get crazy sometimes and we don’t know where it should stop.”
Americans are connected at unprecedented levels ”” 93% now use cellphones or wireless devices; one-third of those are “smartphones” that allow users to browse the Web and check e-mail, among other things. The benefits are obvious: checking messages on the road, staying in touch with friends and family, efficiently using time once spent waiting around.
The downside: Often, we’re effectively disconnecting from those in the same room.