Even the undead have to text sometimes. iReporter Anita Cassini shot photos of an October 2011 zombie walk in New York.

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Columnist Dean Obeidallah got huge reaction to column about going without his cell phone

Many readers say it's easy to go without their phones for a few hours

Some have gotten rid of their mobile devices and cell service

CNN  — 

If you’re looking for a harbinger of the zombie apocalypse, look no further than all those people on the street pecking at their tiny, handheld windows into a private world.

So say a good portion of the commenters reacting to a semi-satirical article by comedian-columnist Dean Obeidallah, who noted the difficulty he had spending a day without a cell phone. It had become something bordering an addiction, he said, or at least a strong habit.

Some readers were taken aback.

“The boy needs to get a life,” said commenter realworldaddict, who also wrote, “Hint to him and all the rest of the people walking around like zombies watching for messages on their cellphones: Wake up and pay attention to the world around you. Nobody is trying to contact you 24/7, and did you really want to know that one of your 568 ‘friends’ on Facebook just got a new goldfish?”

Perhaps we’re all shambling through daily life. When ObewanSnow mentioned a desire to keep a cell phone because it serves as a “safety crutch,” the discussion turned to self-sufficiency and even dystopian scenarios.

“When the apocalypse hits in December, you will be one of the first ones to go,” replied a commenter. “You have become too reliant on technology. You are afraid of breaking down and not having AAA to save you. You better toughen up and learn to work on your own car, or you will perish very quickly.”

Maybe they’re taking a page from Stephen King’s novel, “Cell,” in which the protagonist, Clayton Riddell, doesn’t turn into a zombie because he doesn’t own a cell phone. The story is about an event called “The Pulse” that turns cell phone users into vicious, mindless beings. The ill effects of omnipresent communication are a common motif in science fiction.