40 Percent Of Aussies Would Choose More Mobile Data Over Running Water

And nearly one in three Aussies would cancel a date if the venue didn't have internet coverage.

It's no secret Aussie are becoming increasingly enslaved to their smartphones.

We are the fourth largest users of mobile phones worldwide, with 84 percent of Australians owning one.

In fact, the average Aussie checks their phone as many as 130 times a day. 

A recent survey looked at 1,000 Aussies' mobile phone habits and found that Australians are increasingly relying on their mobile phones to feel connected and secure.

The survey found that nearly 40 percent of Australians would rather pay for more mobile phone data than having basic running water and that 65 percent wouldn't cope without internet access for more than two consecutive hours.

Mobile phone provider Amaysim's research also found Australians will wait until their phone is charged before leaving the house. Image: Getty Images.

The mobile phone provider survey also found;

  • 39 percent would run late for work because they needed to wait for their phone to charge
  • More than half people would avoid going to the gym if their battery wasn't at 100 percent
  • Over a third of Australians would put off going on a trip for two years to save for the latest smartphone
  • Almost one in three admitted they wouldn't go on a date if the venue didn't have internet access

READ MORE: Smartphones To Be Banned In French Schools

Is Problematic Mobile Phone Use On The Rise?

According to research from Dr Brendan Meagher, problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) is a rapidly growing problem.

"PMPU can be defined as an inability to regulate one’s use of the mobile phone, which has negative consequences in daily life," Meagher wrote in an article for Australian Psychological Society's InPsych.

"As PMPU looks set to become one of the biggest behavioural addiction challenges of the 21st century there is increasing concern about the impact of this technology upon the user's mental health."
Mobile phone use can have negative consequences in everyday life. Image: Getty Images.

Meagher said PMPU is a worldwide issue and encompasses both the mental and the physical consequences of over-using a your phone. He said part of the issue lies in the beliefs people hold about their phones.

He says people think they can negate consequences by engaging in another behaviour, "for example 'I can use my mobile phone while driving because I will slow down'".

Tech Can Make Us Less Productive

While technology was initially designed to make us more productive, it can also have the opposite effect according to productivity expert and author of 'Smart Work' Dermot Crowley.

Crowley told ten daily that technology-use comes with the expectation that people can properly multitask, but the fact remains that most people can't check social media and focus in a meeting simultaneously.

"You can't multitask when you are doing complex works -- the quality of one of them will drop," Crowley said.

Multitasking doesn't result in high quality work. Image: Getty Images.

"One of the problems that I tend to see is that most people don't leverage the tech to work more productivity and ... instead we’re becoming more addicted and they aren’t using it as best we can."

Crowley said that mobile phone addiction is an element of people being less productive in their work and their general lives.

"We get little sugar every time we go in and check our email or social media during a meeting. There are endorphins that make us feel good," he said. 

But he says there are some things you can do to use tech to your benefit rather than let it take over your life.

"They need to turn off all of the alerts that will pull them into these tools -- email alerts or social media alerts on their phone. They should have proactive approach to these tools rather than a reactive approach," Crowley said.

READ MORE: Demerit Point Increase For Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving

READ MORE: How To Mind Your Mobile Manners

He also recommended planning your day at work so include time to check your tech. If you have designated time to check your inbox you'll trust it, instead of having to check every five minutes for fear you've missed something.

"People who do tend to use their technology in more proactive ways tend to become more purposeful in their actions."

Feature Image: Getty Images 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au