Smartphones

Gone are the days when a phone was just a phone. A phone is now so much more. It’s a web browser, a camera, a music player … and maybe even a window into who you are as a person.

So what does the brand of smartphone you use indicate about you anyway? That’s the question a team of researchers from the United Kingdom looked to answer by surveying a group of smartphone users.

The short answer to the question, it turns out, is: if you’re the kind of person who cares what your smartphone brand says about you, you’re probably an iPhone user.

To be a little more exact, the researchers found that as a group, iPhone users tended to see their phones as status objects more than Android users.

In general, iPhone users tended to also be more emotional and to score lower on a questionnaire measuring honesty and humility.

Of course, you can’t apply the results of a study based on averages to a single person, but I decided to do it anyway. As a current Android user, sure enough, I don’t exactly see my phone as a status symbol.

And how do I do on honesty-humility? Well, I don’t know, answering the question “are you humble?” is a losing proposition because answering “yes” tends to suggest the opposite, as does answering “no”! There are similar problems with the question “are you honest?”

This isn’t the first time research has linked smartphones and personality. One study found a correlation between smartphone addiction and personality – in particular, personality traits like drive and self-control.

Maybe it shouldn’t be any surprise that both our phone usage and our phones themselves reflect who we are to some extent. After all, if you’re anything like me, your phone is a part of who you are in the sense that it’s a minor catastrophe if you leave home without it! In fact, that’s a topic I’d like to throw out there for future research: smartphone separation anxiety. With any luck, I’ll get to write a blog post about that research!

Image: Flickr/Lisa Risager under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0