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      Service Unavailable: A Smartphone Intervention

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- At the end of 2010, 63.2 million Americans owned smartphones. That TMs up 60 percent over the previous year according to the latest research from comScore.

      You walk down the street or sit down at a bar or restaurant and it seems everyone is gazing into their phones not paying attention to one another. It seems there TMs a bit of an addiction in our society when it comes to our mobile devices. I TMll be the first one to admit I TMm addicted.

      Hello, my name is Chris and I TMm addicted to my phone. Because of that, I TMve decided to give it up for the sake of news and your enjoyment.

      It really didn TMt hit me how hard it would be giving up my cell phone for a week until we were putting together the rules for this little news series. It was an eye-opener. I TMll be without one of the most useful tools in my life for 168 hours.

      Just last week I was out at the bar with friends when the battery on my HTC Droid Incredible died toward the end of the evening. I was lost. Even though the night was winding down, I felt disconnected. I can TMt imagine the torture of being without it for an entire week.

      Who knows, maybe this little ~intervention TM will be a good thing. I TMm addicted to a device that serves as my connection to the world. It TMs my GPS, my camera, my music player and my notepad. It TMs my calculator, my flashlight, my contact list and my portal to every person I know. It TMs my source. I probably Google a question once an hour. It sends my news and weather directly to me. It tells me where my friends are and what they TMre doing. It notifies me the instant I have a new email. And oh yeah, did I mention it makes calls?

      I TMve often said if it had a fold out blade, it TMd be the ultimate survival tool. It does everything. So can I do without it for a week? It TMs going to be tough and I TMm guaranteed to learn from this experiment, but I think it TMs within reach. I TMm going to have fun with it.

      Here TMs how it works:

      Rule 1 - No cell phone from 12 p.m. Monday February 14 to 12 p.m. Monday February 21.Rule 2 - No personal social media or internet activity during that time.Rule 3 - Can TMt use others TM cell phones.

      I work as an Interactive Content Manager so I doubt the higher-ups at WACH Fox would be pleased at the idea of me going off the grid completely. Also, rule number two was put in place to keep this thing fair. I need to use email, Facebook and Twitter as part of my job. I can TMt get away from that, otherwise they TMd consider it a vacation.

      So I invite you to follow me through this week. I TMll be blogging daily here on, filling you in on my struggles and thoughts. I TMll also be posting on Twitter throughout the day. Follow me @chrisabbotts for even more on this experiment along with a few random quips here and there. Check back on your WACH Fox News to see a full recap by Janet Parker after it's all over.

      Are you addicted to your smart phone? Could you do what I TMm doing for a week? Or do you find it outrageous that someone could be so attached to an electronic device? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about Service Unavailable.