On an average, people cannot stay away from their smartphones for over 44 seconds, with men unable to wait over 21seconds before reaching for their devices, a new study has found.
Researchers from the universities of Wurzburg (Germany) and Nottingham Trent (UK) found that participants left in a waiting room on their own lasted an average of just 44 seconds before touching their smartphones. Against 21 seconds for men, the window stands at 57 seconds for women, researchers said.
Ten minutes into the study, participants were asked how long they thought it had been before they reached for their phone. Most said between two and three minutes, highlighting a significant disconnect between perception and actual behaviour.
During the 10-minute waiting session, participants used their smartphone, on average, almost half the time (five minutes), researchers said. The study also found that the more we use our phones, the more stressed we become. “The experiment suggests that people are far more attached to these devices than they realise, and it has become second nature to turn to our smartphones when left alone with them. We do not just wait anymore,” said Jens Binder from the University of Nottingham Trent.
Additional research conducted by the universities suggests that this compulsion to check our phones could be a result of the fear of missing out (FOMO) on something.