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Americans Can’t Put Their Phones Down, Even in the Shower

Aaron Pressman
The Exchange

It may be rude, annoying and even dangerous but it seems some people just can’t put down their smartphones.

Nearly one third of U.S. adults admitted using their phone in a movie theater or on a dinner date, according to a new Harris Interactive online survey. One in five said they used their phone in church or other place of worship and one in 10 even admitted checking in the shower or during sex.

And more than half – 55% - admitted they couldn’t put their phone down while driving.

Dialing, texting or even glancing at a phone while driving triples the risk of accidents, a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found earlier this year. And distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents, leading to more than 3,000 deaths a year.

Most people are concerned about keeping the information on their phones private. More than half of all phone owners – 59% – said they kept their device protected by a password.

And they seem to have good reason to be paranoid: 29% reported they had snooped on someone else’s phone. Among those under 35, however, almost half – 47% – admitted snooping.

“People have good reason to be on high alert,” Marc Barach, chief marketing officer at Jumio, a Web payments company which sponsored the survey, said.

Many people are anxious about losing their phone, with 72% of respondents saying they keep it within 5 feet most of the time.

The biggest fears from losing the phone included 65% worried about theft of personal information, 58% not wanting to lose contacts and 39% concerned about fraudulent calling.

Harris surveyed 2,021 people online, though it did not use random sampling to select the pool and the results may not be statistically valid.