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Smartphone-Mania: Americans Can't Put Down Their Smartphones, Even During Sex—From the Shower to the Sack, New Jumio Study Reveals Consumers' Unwillingness to Part With Their Devices

According to the new Mobile Consumer Habits study recently released by Jumio, and conducted online by Harris Interactive, smartphone usage is so prevalent in Americans’ everyday lives that nearly one in ten (9%) smartphone owners admit to having used their phone during sex, along with unexpected places, such as the shower (12%), in church or other place of worship (19%), and more. The 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits study provides insight into the behaviors of Americans when it comes to their smartphones, along with their top concerns over losing their beloved device.

"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 at Jumio, in a news release. "And panic sets in when consumers are separated from their devices, with privacy concerns topping the list. People have good reason to be on high alert; nearly 30 percent 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."

Findings from the 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits study include:

You Use Your Smartphone…WHERE?

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents report being within five feet of their smartphonesthe majority of the time, and admit they use their devices in some unusual places. Nowhere seems to be off limits, with some adults using their smartphones:

  • In a movie theater – 35%
  • During a dinner date – 33%
  • At a child’s or school function – 32%
  • In church or a place of worship – 19%
  • While in the shower – 12%

Despite the many warnings — and, in most states, laws — tied to the dangers of talking or texting while driving, more than one-half (55%) admit to using their smartphone while driving.

Calling Dr. Love

Speaking of bad habits, "sexting" takes on a whole new meaning, with almost one in 10 (9%) adults admitting they’ve used their phone during sex.

  • The young are even more daring and comfortable with their smartphones as strange bedfellows; this number rises to one in five (20%) among those ages 18-34.
  • When even the most intimate of moments isn’t a cell phone-free zone, perhaps it’s no coincidence that 12% of respondents in a relationship said they believe their smartphone gets in the way of that relationship.

Keep Your Mitts Off My Phone

Though it’s not often far from reach, the majority (59%) of Americans keep their phone password protected. But people still fear what will happen if their phone ends up in someone else’s hands, which may be tied to the fact that nearly three in 10 adults (29%) admit to snooping on someone else’s phone. When it comes to their primary concern over losing their smartphone, Americans are most worried about:

  • Theft of personal information – 65%
  • Losing contact with others – 58%
  • Calls being made on their behalf – 39%
  • Someone logging into their social profiles – 33%
  • Someone using their mobile payment options – 26%

Single respondents seem more concerned about privacy than their married counterparts, being more likely to password protect their phones than those who are married (69% vs. 55%).

  • At the same time, two in five (42%) single smartphone owners admit to snooping on someone else’s phone, while only one-quarter (25%) of married people say the same.
  • Younger adults, aged 18-34 (47%), are more likely to snoop than those aged 35+, but some older adults still admit to poking around on someone else’s phone [35-44 (29%); 45-54 (21%); 55+ (9%)].

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Jumio between June 13-17, 2013, among 2021 U.S. online adults (of whom 1102 respondents are smartphone owners/users) aged 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Edited by Richard Carufel

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