Problematic use of mobile phones is an abnormal, but relatively widespread form of consumer consumption which has a range of negative social and financial consequences for many individuals. It is defined here as “a person’s perceived tendency to chronically use mobile phone services in excess of their needs and resources”. Although substantial research exists on problematic behavior in the tangible goods sector, our understanding of problematic consumption of a service-based ‘good’ like mobile phone use is limited.
Research is hampered by the current conceptual and psychometric measures, as well as few theoretical explanations of underlying mechanisms and drivers for this problematic behavior.
Mobile phones continue to alter our social and consumer landscape. Besides the numerous benefits mobile phone technology brings, some consumers are also experiencing a “darker side” to this service revolution.
Popular literature contains an increasing number of references to mobile phone addiction. A new body of academic literature in this area has now also emerged.
This contends that this literature has confounded the study of a problematic behavior, that is, problematic mobile phone usage with its consequences and our understanding of this would benefit from greater consideration of consumer behavior ideas and theories.
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