During which activities are the public most distracted by their phones?
June 9th, 2023, YouGov

During which activities are the public most distracted by their phones?

Much has been written about the way that mobile phones are reportedly breaking our brains. We can’t say whether that’s true or not – but we can look at how people are using their phones during ostensibly social occasions.

The level of distraction varies based on the activity, and based on the area. Looking at 18 global markets, we can see that consumers in the UAE (45%), India (43%), Indonesia (37%), and China (33%) are most likely to check their phones very or fairly often during a dinner with family/friends. This is a lot less common in Denmark (8%), Sweden (10%), Spain (11%), Great Britain (11%), Poland (12%), and Germany (12%).

The public in the UAE (41%) India (40%), and Indonesia (28%) are also most likely to check their phones regularly at a concert/show, or while socialising (UAE: 39%; India: 36%; Indonesia: 38%) – Danes, again, rank last for each (7% concerts; 9% socialising).

The top three only changes when it comes to using phones at sporting events: while consumers in the UAE (41%) and India (40%) take the top two spots again, consumers in Australia come in third (31%). There’s also more competition at the bottom: Danes (12%), Britons (12%), Polish consumers (12%) all come joint-last.

As for perhaps the most egregious social faux pas – checking your phone often while on a date – we can again see a range of attitudes. Two in five consumers in the UAE (38%) do so often; in Europe, we can see that one in ten British (10%), German (9%), Polish (8%), Spanish (9%) do so too, as do one in nine Italians (11%) and 14% of French consumers. In the Americas, one in ten (9%) Americans look at their phones often during dates, rising to one in nine in Canada (11%) and even more in Mexico (13%). Over in APAC, a third of consumers in India check their phones during dates (33%), three in ten do so in Indonesia (28%), a quarter in Australia (26%), and a fifth in Singapore (18%) and China (19%). The Nordics, again, have the lowest incidence of checking a phone frequently during a date (Denmark 6%; Sweden 9%).

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YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying for each market. All surveys were conducted online in May-June 2023. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urba