Have you ever noticed that you seem to not be able to keep yourself from checking out your smartphone as you wait for your turn during an appointment with your doctor? When you are left in a waiting room, how long would it take before you finally check your mobile phone?
In an experiment conducted as part of a study commissioned by Kaspersky Lab, participants had lasted an average of just 44 seconds before they finally touched their smartphones while waiting in a room.
According to the study, which was carried out by Universities of Wurzburg and Nottingham-Trent, men seem to be more impatient than women. In the experiment, men wait just 21 seconds on the average before they take out their smartphones, while women take 57 seconds on the average.
Attachment to devices
After 10 minutes, the participants were asked how long they thought it had been before they finally reach for their smartphones while waiting in the room. Surprisingly, most of them thought it took them about two to three minutes. This may indicate a disconnect between participants’ perception and actual behavior.
“The experiment suggests that people are far more attached to these devices than they realize and it has become a second nature to turn to our smartphones when left alone with them,” said the University of Nottingham Trent’s Jens Binder. “We do not just wait anymore. The immediacy of information and interactions delivered through our smart devices make them much more of a digital companion and connection to the outside world than a piece of technology.”
Another research suggests that this kind of behavior could be attributed to the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), which may take effect when one is not online. In an accompanying poll, respondents who use their mobile phones more intensely admitted possibly suffering from higher level of FOMO.
Stress and reliance on smartphone
It was also found that many people get more stressed when they frequently use their mobile phones. However, researchers think that stress brought about by smartphone usage may not bring about a major influence on a person’s general well being.
Findings of a previous study (still done by Kaspersky Lab) show that most people rely heavily on their mobile devices as an extension of their brains. That is because they use those gadgets as tools to record and retrieve facts. Interestingly, majority of the respondents of that research could not even remember their partner’s mobile number although they can still recall their home telephone number from when they were 10 or younger.
Thus, according to David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, smartphones are not only valuable to us but also to criminals. “If our personal information was to become compromised in any way, either from theft or malware attack, we would risk losing not just our connection to friends but also our source of information.”