Lookout, a mobile security company, has released a revealing study of U.S. adults that highlights just how addicted we are to our smartphones. For those of us who check our smartphones during dinner, this probably comes as no surprise.
But the study does show just how addicted we are to staying connected at all times and how smartphones play an essential role in our lives. It also highlights our inability to disconnect, even when driving or sleeping.
Below are some of the study’s highlights:
- 60% of us don’t go an hour without checking our phones. And men are worse than women: a whopping three quarters of men between 18 and 34 aren’t able to put their phone away for an hour.
- More than half of us (54%) check our phones while in bed, even waking up in the middle of the night to check them. And 40% of us check our phones when we are in the bathroom.
- Almost a third of us (30%) check our phones when having dinner with others.
- We’re even willing to risk our safety to check our smartphones: 24% of smartphone users check their phones while driving.
- 94% of us are concerned about losing our phones, including 74% who feel panicked at even thinking about it. Interestingly, 6% of us actually feel relieved when we lose our phones, perhaps because we subconsciously want to unplug.
- No surprise here: young adults are the ones who exhibit the worst behavior when it comes to being attached to their smartphones. Nearly 90% admitted to doing one or more of the behaviors listed above.
- If we lose our phones, 38% of us are most concerned about the cost and hassle of replacing it, 24% are most concerned with the inconvenience of being without it, 20% are most concerned about the exposure of personal data on the phone, and 6% are most concerned with having bank and/or financial account information fall into the wrong hands.
Smartphones are relatively new to our culture, and yet they play a huge role in our lives. It goes without saying that we are emotionally attached to them, even to the point that we have a hard time putting them down. Checking our phones while waiting for the bus, walking down the street, or even while eating with others is no longer considered bad etiquette; in fact, it’s considered normal.
But perhaps even as our society is shifting to this new “mobile mindset” we need to find a way to disconnect in order to unplug for a little while and refresh ourselves. Maybe that will help us stay connected while still living balanced lives (and keep us from waking up to check our phones in the middle of the night).