Researchers have now found why we often feel such a strong urge to glance at our handset: checking your mobile is contagious.
The researchers observed how it has become the modern equivalent of glancing at your watch — the furtive look at a phone screen to check for new messages or have a quick look at Facebook, the Daily Mail reported.
People are twice as likely to pull out their phones to check their text messages or e-mail if they are with someone who has just done the same, a University of Michigan team found.
It also found how women were more likely to use their mobile than men since it was more “integrated into the daily lives of women.”
The team watched students in dining halls and coffee shops around campus, observing pairs of students sitting at tables for as long as 20 minutes and documented their cellphone use at 10-second intervals.
Overall, the students used their cellphones at an average of 24 percent of the time, the researchers found. But they were significantly 39.5 percent more likely to use their phones when their companion had just done so in the previous 10-second interval than without the social cue, the researchers said, adding that this behavior was often repeated.