Sitting on a train the other week from Reading to Penzance I had the chance to see this in its full unadulterated glory.
Sitting opposite me in First Class (FGW Weekend upgrade) was a middled aged woman. She couldn't keep her hands off the phone.
Literally every 3-4 minutes she'd pick it up and check for any new messages. This was repeated until she got off at St Austell. She might have been waiting for some important news but surely you can setup your smartphone to sound/vibrate or both when something happens?
This made me look for this behaviour on my daily commute. A totally unscientific sample by yours truly has made me realise that this is indeed a problem and sadly it seems to be mostly women who are afflicted.
I see one woman regularly on the 10 minute journey from Wokingham to Reading. She will check her phone at least 5 times in that short time. This behaviour is repeated every day.
Sad. deeply sad. These people need help.
I don't have one of these new fangles phones. My 6310i does quite nicely thanks.