It’s the gadget that many of us would feel lost without. And so dependent are we on our mobile phones that we check them every six-and-a-half minutes, research suggests.
It found that looking at their phone is the first thing many people do each day – as they use its alarm function – and is also the last. In between, phones are used to check the internet and read emails, as well as to make calls and send texts. Mobile technology consultant Tomi Ahonen analysed a study commissioned by Nokia. In total, users check their smartphones an average of 150 times during a waking day of 16 hours, the research found. Even people who have less-sophisticated devices check their phones frequently.
A person just using a phone with basic functions will rack up dozens of uses a day. Mr Ahonen, who is considered by Forbes magazine to be the most influential voice on mobile technology, wrote on his blog that people make, receive or avoid 22 phone calls every day. They also send or receive text messages 23 times a day and check the clock 18 times.
"The average phone user places three calls per day and also receives three calls. Where are the other 16 times? Interruptions! We have a dropped call (one per day) or we make a call attempt that won’t go through (one per day). We miss a call that was coming, too slow to pull the phone out, or forgot we had changed our ringing tone - yes, we all have done that too."
He added: "Avoid a call? Yes that we also do, we see whose calling, and decide not to talk, use voicemail instead. That’s once a day. We look at the phone when we start the call - we also have to look at the phone to end the call. So out of the seven actual phone calls, we have to end seven calls, that gives us seven more times to look at the phone."
Setting the alarm, playing games, changing songs, taking pictures and plugging and unplugging the phone all added to the number of phone views, he said. Mr Ahonen’s analysis comes soon after a report that said constantly checking your phone is an addiction which can ruin relationships. The research, published in December 2012 by Dr James Roberts, of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business in Texas, found that "the "instant messaging’ addiction was driven by materialism and impulsiveness.
"Mobile phones are a part of our consumer culture. They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol. They’re also eroding our personal relationships. And getting hooked on a mobile phone is similar to other addictions, such as compulsive buying."