Americans Admit to Constant Mobile Connectivity

Mobile phones are also the first thing consumers reach for in the morning, ahead of their coffee, toothbrush, and significant other.

mobile and connectivity

Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) U.S. adult consumers never disconnect from their smartphones, according to a survey of 1,000 respondents released by Bank of America. The majority (71 percent) of respondents are sleeping with their smartphones, with nearly one-quarter (23 percent) admitting to falling asleep with their phone in their hand.

Mobile phones (35 percent) are also the first thing consumers reach for in the morning, ahead of their coffee (17 percent), toothbrush (13 percent) and significant other (10 percent).

"One of the most surprising findings to me from the report is the fact that only 7 percent of Americans say that they shut down entirely while on vacation," Michelle Moore, head of digital banking at Bank of America, told eWEEK. "Along similar lines, our study indicates people are reaching for their smartphones first thing in the morning, ahead of their coffee, toothbrush and significant other. This data underscores how essential smartphones have become to everyday life, and how perpetually plugged in we are."

More than half (56 percent) said they would consider using person-to-person payments through a mobile banking app, and more than one-third (34 percent) said they would consider or already have used their smartphone to make a purchase at checkout.

More than six in 10 (63 percent) are using mobile check deposit, with adoption of this feature highest among older Millennials ages 25–34, as nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the generation report using the feature.

At the same time, the survey showed a notable increase in those ages 50 and older: this year, 52 percent of that group used the feature, compared to 37 percent last year.

"If you look closely at the report, the younger generations, particularly Millennials, are increasingly more reliant and connected to their mobile devices than other generations," Moore said.

She pointed out more than half of younger Millennials (ages 18-24) are “constantly” checking their phones to the point of more than once an hour, and nearly half cited that they have fallen asleep with their smartphone in their hand.

"I expect this trend to continue as they age, especially because Generation Z has never known a life without smartphones," she explained. "This desire for constant connectivity demonstrates our increasing reliance on mobile devices for nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It’s important that we recognize this reality and look to connect with others where they are and how they want to be engaged with."

Three-quarters of respondents said they agree mobile phones are not appropriate in some places, with nearly a third (31 percent) most annoyed by others’ mobile phone use in the movie theater, followed by religious institutions (18 percent) and restaurants (13 percent).