Men, especially, tend to believe that their phones are the first things people notice about them (61%), even before cars, looks, clothes, watches, or any other item, according to mobile video company Vuclip’s Consumer Habits and Lifestyle Survey. Further, male respondents to the survey were 22% more likely than women to admit to having felt ashamed of their phones. You can read more about the survey results above.
Because this survey was conducted in countries around the world, it suggests that social implications of mobile phone choice are driven by the fact that other markets see much more variety in handset choice than the U.S. In Europe and Asia, for instance, Blackberry is still quite popular, and Nokia also has a large presence with carriers. Here, not so much.
I would estimate that my social circle is comprised of about 95% iPhones (4, 4S or 5), and with so little variation its hard to imagine anyone developing an inferiority complex. But that’s just my tiny world. The only time I feel a little uncomfortable about my phone is when I have it out on the table and I know anyone sitting near me can see what credit cards I carry—but the convenience for me of using a wallet phone case outweighs that discomfort. Here are some of our favorite wallet cases (mine, in the photo above, is a Hex Solo Wallet in Torino White).
What about you? Do you put your phone on the table when dining out? Do you ever see what everyone else is slinging and then hide your cheaper or older model? I’m curious if any male readers have ever felt, upon walking into a room, that everyone is checking out their phone, and not their general appearance. When you meet a new person, do your eyes go directly to the phone? It would seem that this phone self-consciousness exists only in our minds and is not on the radar of the people we meet.
If you want to get your friends to stop putting their phones on display at bars and restaurants, you can introduce the Phone Stack game—since the first one to pick up his phone pays the tab, that'll teach the group to keep 'em in their pockets. But if you're a man who is still preoccupied with the idea that your phone is just plain unattractive (perhaps a dinged up iPhone 4 that's seen some things), here are some edgy cases that will up your device's masculinity factor.
(Images: Rachel Rosmarin; as linked above; Gregory Han)