A recent survey found that close to 50 percent of respondents said they feel distracted and anxious when they forget their mobile phones at home, including 7 percent who said they would return to fetch their phones or have them couriered over, local media reported Wednesday.
The results, taken from 1,220 respondents, illustrate the stress that local residents are under and the pressure they feel to stay connected to their social networks.
"The fierce competition at work and school causes many people to suffer a great deal of stress and anxiety," said Wang Yuru, secretary-general of the Shanghai Psychological Counseling Association. "People are afraid that they will give up an advantage or miss an opportunity if they don't have their cellphones with them."
Jiefang Daily Group conducted the survey with a Shanghai-based online polling website to mark World Mental Health Day.
The survey found that more than 60 percent of respondents suffer from great stress, primary from school and work, according to a report in the Shanghai Morning Post, a newspaper that is owned by Jiefang Daily Group.
The dependence on cellphone shows the anxiety that some feel when disconnected from their social circles, said Geng Wenxiu, a psychology professor from East China Normal University.
"This dependence on mobile phones is more prevalent in people who work in competitive fields, such as reporters, managers and information technology workers," Wang told the Global Times.
The anxiety has also pushed some respondents to lose sleep. The survey found that about 60 percent of respondents stay up past midnight reading, watching TV or updating their microblogs.
"People tend to put off something they have to do because they are anxious about doing it," Wang said. "It is a self-protection mechanism to avoid stress."
Liu Ding, a local resident who works for an accounting firm, said that he always stays up too late, even when he needs to get up early the following morning.
"I just refuse to go to sleep, because I know that I will have to go back to work the minute I wake up," he told the Global Times.