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Nearly 50% of Canadian mobile users say their device is on hand 24/7: poll

TORONTO - If you can't bear to let your smartphone out of your sight for even a few minutes, you're not alone.

According to the results of a recently released online poll, almost half of Canadian smartphone owners said they keep their device with them pretty much 24/7.

About 42 per cent of the respondents in the survey, conducted by Harris-Decima for Rogers, said they keep their phone within reach for 90 to 100 per cent of the day.

The average response was 70 per cent of the day, or almost 17 hours.

And when people said they took their phone everywhere, it seems they meant it.

Only one in four respondents said they never take their phone into the washroom, while a similar number said they do so all the time or often. Three in four respondents between 16 and 44 said they do it all the time or often.

Smartphone owners were also asked how often they usually find themselves trying to sneak a peek at the screen in various situations. Just over half of the respondents said they'd check their phone at least once while on a date, while one in four said they'd find a way to see the screen at least once an hour.

Younger daters in particularly said they'd check their phone while out with someone. Nearly 70 per cent of 16- to 29-year-old respondents said they would pull out their device at some point, versus just 23 per cent of those 60 and older.

When asked about looking at their phone at work, about one in four said they never do it, a similar number said they do so less often than once every two hours, and nearly half said they check it at least once an hour.

While hanging out with friends, 15 per cent said they wouldn't look at their phone at all, while 56 per cent said they would at least once an hour.

Pollsters also asked how smartphone owners most used their device to communicate. For respondents between 16 and 29, the average response was that just over half of their communication was typically via text messaging, and just 12 per cent was with phone calls. They also said about 15 per cent was through social media and seven per cent was by emailing.

The users most likely to regularly talk on their smartphones were over 60. On average, they made calls just over 40 per cent of the time to communicate with others, about a quarter of their chatting was via text messaging and 21 per cent was emailing.

The overall average for all the respondents was that 37 per cent of their communication was through texting, 27 per cent by calling, 16 per cent was emailing, nine per cent was through social media, and three per cent via instant messaging.

Canadians were split when asked whether they thought mobile communication would replace most of the physical interactions they would have with people within five years' time.

About 39 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the idea and the same number disagreed, while 22 per cent weren't sure.

The survey was conducted with 1,009 people between Nov. 21 and Dec. 2.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population like traditional telephone polls.

The Canadian Press

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