People can’t last 1 minute without checking smartphones–study
How long do you think can you last without checking your smartphone? A study found that you won’t last as long as you think you would due to a fear of missing out (FOMO).
An experiment conducted for software security firm Kaspersky Lab by the Universities of Würzburg and Nottingham-Trent found that, on average, people could not last over a minute without checking–or even touching–their phones.
Women also could last twice as long; men could wait only for 21 seconds before checking their phones as compared to women, who could last for 57 seconds. The study’s participants, who were left alone together in a room for 10 minutes, lasted about 44 seconds on average without checking their phones after being left alone in a room.
After 10 minutes, participants were then asked how long they thought they lasted before checking their phones. Most said they believed it took them between two and three minutes before touching their phones.
Checking phones now ‘second nature’
The difference in periods of time reveals a disconnect between how the participants perceived themselves and how they actually behaved.
“[P]eople are far more attached to these devices than they realize,” according to Jens Binder, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Nottingham-Trent. “It has become second nature to turn to our smartphones when left alone with them. We do not just wait anymore.”
Binder also said smartphones today were not only mere devices but instead more of a digital companion and a means to connect to the rest of the world, due to the immediacy of information and interactions these make possible.
The study also revealed that, in the 10 minutes that they were left alone, the participants used their phones for an average of five minutes after picking them up.
Additional research by the participating universities suggest that the participants’ compulsion to check their phones could be caused by FOMO. The participants admitted to a high level of FOMO on things happening online in a survey that accompanied the studies, suggesting that people become more stressed the more they use their phones.
However, another survey revealed that there was no difference in the overall happiness of light and heavy phone users. The study concluded that the stress caused by phone usage did not have a major influence on the well-being of people.
“The more participants use their phone the more they are afraid they’re missing out when they aren’t accessing it. It is difficult to say which attribute fuels which: Do people use their phone more because they are afraid of missing something, or is it because they use it so much that they worry they are missing out?” said Astrid Carolus, a psychologist from the University of Würzburg.
According to Kaspersky Lab Senior Security researcher David Emm, while phones have become an integral part of peoples’ lives, they often take it for granted.
“Having them around all the time often makes us forget how valuable they actually are because of the personal memories and other data they hold,” said Emm.
Emm added that the memories and information people store in their phones are not only valuable to them, but also to criminals.
“If our personal information was to become compromised in any way, either from theft or a malware attack, we would risk losing our connection to friends and sources of information,” said Emm. Kurt Lozano, INQUIRER.net trainee
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