By Nadia Gilani
Last updated at 2:02 PM on 4th October 2011
Britons spend 48 minutes on their phones on average during a single night and risk putting a strain on their personal relationships, a survey shows.
The time spent using their phones includes sending an average of three emails, 12 texts, two pictures as well as posting three messages and two status updates on twitter.
And almost one in five men even take their mobile phones to bed with them, according to the research undertaken by Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance.
Forget the rules of etiquette, most people need to brush up on their ‘tech-iquette’, with 90 per cent of UK adults admitting answering their phones during a social occasion – despite the fact that 60 per cent said they would have considered it unacceptable five years ago.
The ‘Tech-iquette Report’ revealed just how reliant we are on staying ‘socially connected’ throughout the day – be it during working hours, on a night out with friends or even while tucked up in bed.
The survey of more than 1,000 adults found that people are too easily distracted by their smartphones.
Those under 25 came out the worst, spending up to an hour-and-a-half or 94 minutes glued to their mobiles on a night out.
Men were found to keep their phones within arm’s reach for 17 hours each day to regularly check the news or sports scores during social occasions.
Women came out slightly better, spending 15 hours a day with their phones, while 16 per cent kept their phones nearby while sleeping.
Sheilas’ Wheels spokeswoman, Jacky Brown said: ‘As more of us couldn’t imagine life without a phone in arm’s reach, personal relationships are being affected.
‘Whether it’s a night out with friends or even going to bed at night, texting and updating social networking sites seems to be the norm with face-to-face conversations taking second best.’
More than a third of those surveyed admitted texting or emailing while holding a face-to-face conversation with someone else, while more than a quarter admitted keeping one eye fixed on their mobile devices for alerts when they are meant to be concentrating on something else.
One-in-eight people complain that their partner spends more time on their phone than actually talking to them, while 12 per cent said they dreaded the sight of a red light flashing on their partner’s phone.
The study also reveals that many people are putting more than just their manners at risk as nearly a fifth of those surveyed admitted using their phone in public to say things that they would not want a stranger to know.
Nearly a third of adults under 30 use their phones to complain about their boss in public, while 37 per cent have moaned about their colleagues.
One in 11 revealed information that compromises their home security, while eight per cent have even aired their bank details in a public place.
Even if someone who doesn’t know them is within earshot, 30 per cent of people are happy to identify themselves by revealing their full name.
Twenty per cent have talked about their place of work and 19 per cent have declared their date of birth or home address.
One in seven have even discussed their private medical issues over the phone in public.
Ms Brown added: ‘The addiction to our phones is not just taking its toll on our social lives but also making us more susceptible to fraud and burglary.
‘Many people seem to enter their own bubble when they pick up the phone and don’t look around to see who could be listening or watching what’s being typed.
‘Homeowners should try to keep personal calls to the safety of their own home rather than in a public place so as not to reveal any sensitive information.’