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We literally cannot let go of our smartphones, new survey finds

College students using smartphones.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Does it hurt when you let it go? Does it feel like part of you is missing when you’re away from it for too long? Does your phone feel like your other half? That might be because it (almost) literally is. According to a new survey conducted by YouGov Omnibus, over 50 percent of millennials report that they carry their phone in their hand throughout the day.

That’s right — for over half of us raised with easy access to mobile devices, they’ve become an extension of our arms. And yes, it’s a distinctly millennial phenomenon — the YouGov survey found that only 30 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 54 reported such constant contact with their phone, and 16 percent of those over 55 had such a codependent relationship with their mobile devices.

Survey respondents were asked if they kept their smartphones in their pants pocket, jacket pocket, table surface, purse/handbag, or somewhere else, and were encouraged to select all applicable answers. Pants pocket proved to be the most popular answer across the board (58 percent of millennials, 39 percent of the middle age category, and 44 percent of those over the age of 55), but the in-hand option proved the second most popular choice for those aged 18 to 34.

Moreover, it seems that millennials’ penchant for carrying their smartphones in their hands has also led to quite a few dropped phones — the survey found that 48 percent of young people wanted their smartphone to be more durable (with a shatterproof screen, water resistant capabilities, and the like). Only 40 percent of those between 35 and 54 had this problem, and just over a quarter of those over 55 needed stronger, more butterfinger-proof phones. In fact, YouGov notes, “Young people were the only cohort to express more concern about their phone’s durability than its battery life.”

So look out, smartphone owners. Soon, we may have to find a way to implant these devices directly into our skin. After all, we’re practically that attached already.

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Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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