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Survey: Brits addicted to their smartphones

A survey by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has shown that Brits are so addicted to their smartphones that many can’t even put it to one side when they go to take a tinkle.

The survey, the results of which were published Wednesday, shows that 27 percent of British adults and 47 percent of teenagers now own a smartphone with 59 percent having acquired one in the last 12 months. Among adults, the iPhone was the smartphone of choice, while most British teens opted for a BlackBerry.

It seems that smartphone use would be a hard habit to break, with 37 percent of adults and 60 percent of teens admitting they are ‘highly addicted’ to their device.

Compared to owners of the traditional type of cell phone, smartphone users are more likely to take their phone to the bathroom, seemingly oblivious to the hygiene issues involved – 22 percent of adults and 47 percent of teenage smartphone owners said they either use it or answer calls with it while in the bathroom. I guess that’s what you might call multi-tasking.

For many, dinner time appears to have become dinner-and-smartphone time, with 23 percent of adults and 34 percent of teens admitting to using them during mealtimes.

The in-depth survey, called “A nation addicted to smartphones,” even revealed how many people are prepared to incur the wrath of others by getting their phone out in a movie theater or library – 27 percent of teens said they do, along with 18 percent of adults.

The survey results showed that among adult smartphone owners, 47 percent have downloaded an app. The surprising thing about that statistic is the low number – do the remaining 53 percent actually realise they can download apps, and if so, why haven’t they downloaded at least one? Have they not heard of Angry Birds?

Of the adults who download paid apps, games proved to be most popular (15 percent of smartphone users), followed by music apps (8 percent), and maps/navigation apps (7 percent). Teens are also more likely to spend money on games (32 percent) than music (22 percent).

The survey showed how the growing popularity of the smartphone is causing users to spend less time in front of the TV and computer. The smartphone is everything now – it’s the TV, the stereo, the radio, the desktop, the phone, the web browser, the newspaper, the book, the game console….you name it. The only reason we didn’t take all those things into the bathroom before is because we couldn’t get them all in there. Not so with the little smartphone.