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Survey Shows Americans Treat Mobile Devices As Best Friends

In this post-modern world where personal technology reigns supreme (particularly mobile devices), it is not outlandish to think that a smartphone or tablet can become your best friend. Just how intimately connected are we with our mobile devices? A new survey commissioned by Citrix found that Americans admitted to spending almost every waking minute with their devices, whether checking news and social media feeds first thing each morning, eating every meal with device in hand, or watching reality TV shows in secret.

The survey of more than 1,000 American smartphone and tablet owners ages 18 and older was conducted in January 2013 by Wakefield Research. It reveals just how deep the relationship between man and machine can run, even trumping the relationships people have with their families.

Like most close relationships, it’s not all fun and games. The survey also highlights where the relationship between user and device can go south. Among the findings:

Guess who’s coming to dinner

Any lunch date or dinner party can be ruined by an unwanted guest, but what happens when that guest is a smartphone or tablet? This problem appears to be on the rise, as a whopping 69 percent of mobile device owners said it has been one day or less since they last ate a meal without checking their device. And don’t blame the kids for ignoring you at the dinner table. Only 66 percent of Millennials checked their devices while sitting down for a meal in the past day compared to 68 percent of Gen Xers and 71 percent of Boomers.

A problem with over-sharing

While new technologies have made it easy to share videos with friends and family across the globe, a majority of mobile device users (52 percent) expressed their desire for fewer shared videos. When asked which of the following video types they wished people would stop sharing, 45 percent ranked videos of kids as their number one choice. “Holiday greetings” and pet videos ranked second and third with 42 and 41 percent, respectively. On the flip side, the survey found that we have no qualms about sharing our own video content, even at the expense of others. Among mobile device owners who recorded an embarrassing video of someone in 2012, a majority (52 percent) are saving it to share with others in 2013.

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