While some would think a watch or shoes may indicate a man’s social standing, 61% of men say their phone is the first thing people notice about them, according to a new study from mobile-video company Vuclip.
Comparatively, just 38% of women felt the same way — although for people 18 and younger, the number jumped to 82%. The consumer-habits-and-lifestyles survey polled more than 120,000 people in more than 15 countries about what people first noticed. While more than half of the men polled felt the phone represented their affluence, others selected a car, watch or clothing as a measure of status.
About 87% of Americans own a cell phone, according to the Pew Research Center; as Quartz points out, mobile phones are nearly ubiquitous in developed and developing countries alike, and upscale smartphones are quickly becoming a status symbol among the emerging middle class in places like China. But that being said, people are still somewhat sensitive about their phones: fully 48% of respondents said they had felt “ashamed” to let other people see their phone. So go easy on that guy in your office who’s still rocking an old Blackberry — he may take it harder than you think.