Experiment Shows Men Can’t Leave Their Phones Alone

Compared to women, men are less patient when it comes to leaving their phones alone. A study carried out by researchers AT Universities of Wurzburg and Nottingham-Trent for security software firm Kaspersky Lab has shown that women wait twice as long to touch their phones compared to men.

For the study, the researchers looked into 95 participants including 39 males and 56 females aged 19 to 56 years old from the United Kingdom and Germany. The participants were left in a waiting room alone for 10 minutes. A hidden camera was set up to determine how long it took them before they touch their phones.


Their findings showed that participants lasted an average of 44 seconds before they pick their phones. Women, on the average took 57 seconds, while men had an average of 21 seconds.

“The experiment suggests that people are far more attached to these devices than they realise and it has become second nature to turn to our smartphones when left alone with them. We do not just wait anymore. The immediacy of information and interactions delivered through our smart devices make them much more of a digital companion and connection to the outside world than a piece of technology,” said Jens Binder from the University of Nottingham Trent.

An additional study conducted by the universities proposes that the compulsion to check one’s phone is a result of FOMO or fear of missing out when they have no online access. Moreover, a survey suggested that participants who used their phone had a higher level of FOMO.

Astrid Carolus of University of Wuzburg commented: “It is difficult to say which attribute fuels which – do people use their phone more because they are afraid of missing something, or is it because they use it so much that they worry they are missing out.”

What is FOMO?

Considered a mental health syndrome, FOMO is a “pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”.

According to Psych Central, FOMO is especially strong for people hooked on social media. Although teens typically experience FOMO, adults can also feel this type of anxiety.