To the 40% of you who use your smartphones in the bathroom — gross! Or is it? While it seems pretty disgusting to use your touchscreen device on the can – a surface that has already proven to be a Petri dish for viruses and bacteria that can cause illness – I never really understood keeping other touch-me reading materials in the wash closet. I mean, can it possibly be any worse than the stack of magazines festering with germs beside the toilet?
Anyway, a recent study by Google has shown just how addicted we’re becoming to our smartphones. Here’s what TechCrunch reports:
The study confirms what most of us already know. The report finds that in terms of general usage, 93% of smartphone users use their phones at home; 81% browse the Internet and 77% search on their phones, 72% of smartphone users use their phones while consuming other media. One-third of smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV. And 45% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help them to manage and plan activities, such as for dinner plans, travel arrangements and finances. Google says that 39% admit to having used their smartphone while going to the bathroom and one in five users would give up their Cable TV in order to keep using their smartphones.
Nearly three-quarters of us use our smartphones while consuming other media? A third while watching TV?! Clearly we have a problem with addiction to our glowing screens – the world seems to be just a finger tap or swipe away. Just last night I was at a beer garden with a friend and when I left for the bathroom – no, I didn’t use my smartphone in there – and returned she said, “It’s such a habit for me to check my iPhone when I’m sitting alone. And it made me realize that I’m probably addicted to the thing. I don’t like it!”
So, what are we doing on our smartphones? The report continues:
Local is, unsurprisingly, a huge component in activity on smartphones. For example, 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information. 61% call a business, 59% visit a business and 44% actually make a purchase. And users who are seeking local information are quick to take action—88% of local information seekers take action within a day.
Hey, as long as my date isn’t texting some other flame or scheduling the next date, that’s fine. Although I am of the old school — no phones at the table, please. Looking for the next bar or restaurant isn’t so bad, or finding the closest and most convenient subway is OK, too.
This makes me wonder: how many of us realize that we’re using our smartphones as often as we are? I know plenty of folks who have weekend policies of staying away from computers and their smartphones as much as they can help it. Do you think it would do us a little good to just leave our phones in our pockets, bags or jackets when we’re out for a lovely stroll, or sitting on the toilet?