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Americans Would Panic Over Lost Smartphones

Britney Fitzgerald, The Huffington Post
Friday, 22 Jun 2012 | 9:44 AM ET
Person text messaging while driving
Image Source | Getty Images
Person text messaging while driving

How many times a day do you check your smartphone?

According to the Mobile Mindset Study conducted by security app Lookout, 58 percent of U.S. smartphone owners check their phones at least every hour — and a large share check their phones while in bed or in the bathroom.

If in some catastrophic event they were to lose their device, 73 percent of people admit they would feel "panicked" while another 14 percent would feel "desperate."

It's safe to say Americans have a (unhealthy?) obsession with their mobile devices.

The study also illustrates changing notions regarding what is considered rude or inappropriate when it comes to phone use. What were once considered bad behaviors have now become social norms, according to the following statistics (though that doesn't mean they're not annoying):

When at a meal with someone else, 30 percent of participants say they check their phones.

Think that's bad? Forty percent check their phones on the toilet.

When driving, 24 percent admit to checking their phones.

During a religious service at a house of worship, 9 percent of participants check their phones.

54 percent of people surveyed check their phone "while lying in bed"— in the middle of the night, before going to bed, or as soon as they wake up.

Lookout gathered this information with research partner Harris Interactive by conducting an online study from May 8 through May 10, 2012 with 2,097 adults that were 18 years of age or older. Because the survey was not based on a probability sample, there is no sampling error available.

Psychologists have previously voiced their concerns about society's smartphone obsession. The number of smartphone users continues to rise: BizReport highlightedfacts from a Pew study earlier this year, which showed a 36 percent increase in smartphone users from May 2011 to February 2012.

And as phone etiquette morphs with technological advancements, we begin to wonder how connected is too connected. Should Americans be concerned if they can't get through a meal without a quick Facebook check or glance at email -- let along a trip to the bathroom? And what's all that phone use doing to our sleep? Apple is introducing a new feature, Do Not Disturb, that may help iPhone users separate themselves from their cellphones.

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