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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Is anywhere off limits for smartphone use?

AFP   July 13, 2013
First Published: 10:35 IST(13/7/2013) | Last Updated: 11:25 IST(15/7/2013)

Smartphones are now so ingrained in Americans' lives that they're unwilling to put them down, even when in the throes of passion.

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As well as almost one in 10 respondents (9%) of all ages and 20 percent of 18-34-year-olds admitting that they used their phones during sex and 12 percent saying they've taken them into the shower, it would appear that in an increasingly mobile world, nowhere is off-limits -- 19 percent have used their smartphones in church.

The survey -- "Mobile Consumer Habits" commissioned by Jumio Inc -- was made up of 2021 US adults, 1102 of whom were smartphone owners and highlights what many already know: that people can't bear to be parted from their phones. Indeed, 72 percent said that they're never usually more than five feet away from their phone and this in turn is leading to use in some less than orthodox places -- the cinema (35%); during a dinner date (33%); or at their children's school or during a school function (32%). However, most worrying of all is that 55 percent also admit to using their phones while driving.

"People view their smartphones as an extension of themselves, taking them everywhere they go -- even the most unorthodox places -- from the shower to their commute, from the dinner table to the bedroom," said Marc Barach, chief marketing and strategy officer, Jumio. "And panic sets in when consumers are separated from their devices, with privacy concerns topping the list."

Indeed, most admit they live in fear of their phone falling into someone else's hands. As such, 59 percent of all phone-owning respondents said that they have activated and use their phone's password protection feature. This rises to 69 percent for people who are single rather than in a relationship.

Nearly two thirds (65%) said that their greatest fear, should their handset be stolen, is the theft of personal information, which came just ahead of losing contact with others (58%). Other fears include someone else logging into their social profiles (33%) and someone running up their phone bill (26%).

But it's not just thieves -- 29 percent of respondents admitted to snooping on someone else's phone. This jumps to 42 percent if only single people's responses are considered -- which also may help explain why they're the group most likely to activate their device's password protection features.

"People have good reason to be on high alert; nearly 30% of adults admit to snooping on someone else's mobile phone, making users aware of the potential violations that happen when we put our own phones down," says Barach. No wonder people are taking them into the shower.


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