Survey: 1 in 4 adults checks phone less than a minute after waking up

How important are cellphones these days? Nearly half of the respondents feel “unsafe” if they’re in an area without any service.

NEW YORK — How long do you wait after waking up before you pick up your smartphone and check your texts, notifications, or social media apps? Many Americans don’t even give themselves enough time to stretch. A new survey finds that nearly one in four people grab their phones less than a minute after getting up each morning.

Researchers say that, not surprisingly, millennials led the way when it came to smartphone obsession. Thirty-one percent of the young adult segment said they check their devices almost immediately after waking, compared to just 9 percent of baby boomers. Men were also more likely to look at their phones before anything else, with 27 percent checking right away, compared to 20 percent of females. The findings are part of RootMetrics’ Lifestyles of Mobile Consumers survey, which polled 1,200 adults across the U.S. to probe the impact of smartphones and other digital devices on the daily lives of consumers.

While 23 percent of survey participants overall check their phones in less than than 60 seconds after waking up, another 34 percent wait five to 10 minutes. Conversely, about six percent wait at least two hours.

“To say Americans are dependent on their cell phones is an understatement,” Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics by IHS Markit, tells StudyFinds. “For many of us, smartphones are the first thing we pick up before starting the day. Beyond this, mobile devices even give us a sense of security with the majority of Americans saying they’ve felt unsafe when in ‘dead zones.'”

That’s right: for those who have ever hit one of those areas where you simply can’t get any cellphone service, 47 percent say they’ve felt unsafe. Women were far more likely to feel jittery after losing service. Fifty-two percent admitted they’d be nervous in a dead zone, compared to 42 percent of men. The feeling, again, was most prominent among millennials: six in 10 believe it’s unsafe to be in a dead zone, while only 27 percent of baby boomers agreed.

So who’s to blame for dead zones? Americans are split. Nearly half (46 percent) blame their carrier when they have a poor mobile connection, while two in five (40 percent) blame their location for connection issues.

“Smartphones play an integral role in our daily lives, meaning that consumers must ensure they have a network that supports their increasing mobile needs,” says Hasley. “Whether they mostly use their smartphones to share on social media, play mobile games or binge-watch Netflix, a fast and reliable mobile network is key to getting and staying connected. Luckily, the carriers in the U.S. are working hard to align with subscribers’ growing demands.”

As for other takeaways from the survey, researchers found that a third of smartphone users spend most of their time texting, while nearly a third (32 percent) use their devices mostly for social media. About one in 10 primarily listen to music or podcasts, and 11 percent watch streaming videos.

Interestingly, more than half of baby boomers (54 percent) say they spend the majority of their phone time texting, compared to just a quarter of millennials. Conversely, far more millennials (40 percent) use their phones to check social media than the older generation (19 percent).

The survey was conducted October 24, 2018 by Pollfish.