Stand in line … anywhere … and you’ll notice the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you are at the Bank, Department of Motor Vehicles, or the Apple Store on release day. Whenever you are in line, the people in front and behind you are doing the same thing. They are checking their mobile devices.
A recent study published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing shows that smart phone users develop “checking habits.” This describes the act of impulsively checking one’s mobile device. The checks usually take about thirty seconds and are repeated as often as every ten minutes. Checking habits, in many cases, are driven by compulsion, rather than need.
In the Personal and Ubiquitous Computing study, participants checked their mobile devices on average 34 times a day.
In another study, British telecommunications company Vodafone asked survey participants what they would give up for a week in place of their mobile phone. 70% would give up alcohol; 63% would swear off chocolate; 33% would abstain from sex.
Those numbers tell the story about how influential mobile computing is and will be in our lives better than any strategist possibly could.