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Why shop via your phone? To keep your spouse in the dark

A survey suggests that one of the big advantages of mobile shopping is that it's easier to keep personal. It also helps some people buy embarrassing items.

Don't tell his lover.
Amazon/YouTube Screenshot Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some people just cannot stop buying.

They wander into stores during their lunch hour, they're constantly attuned to online shopping. Who can wonder that the wise people at Amazon decided to name their online clothing store MyHabit?

And yet, as everything goes mobile, is it really quite as easy to shop through your phone, as it is on your cute little PC or iPad? Everything is a little smaller, for example. It's harder to zoom out and imagine.

However, new research has entered my laptop that offers a far more rational perspective on mobile shopping. Apparently, a substantial chunk of America finds it has one very secure advantage: your lover can't see what you're buying.

I confess I had never thought of this kink. Yet, research performed on behalf of a company called Apigee declares that a fulsome 25 percent of mobile shoppers do it to avoid their lover's eyes.

As with almost every survey thrust into the world, the sponsoring company might just have a little loving self-interest.

Indeed, you will be stunned into contacting a spiritualist on discovering that the cleverly-named Apigee claims to be "the leading API platform for enterprises and developers."

I remain, though, fascinated by the human aspect to these results.

The suggestion seems to be that the phone provides a little intimacy. Its very virtue is its relative diminutiveness.

Unlike your laptop (I hope), you can easily take your phone into, say, a restroom and buy David Beckham underpants, several copies of "How To Seduce The Person in the Next Cubicle" (I will write this one soon) or even just one of "50 Shades of Grey"

Talking of difficult emotions, there is one in particular that represents a burgeoning market for mobile shopping.

In this survey, 14 percent of respondents admitted that another reason to clutch one's little Galaxy S3 in order to buy something essential, is that the something essential might be essentially embarrassing.

You may not really want anyone to know that you've just bought a Miley Cyrus t-shirt to sleep in. You may be desperate to hide that you are in urgent need of a clown outfit. You might be keen to keep private that you are male and yet prefer the soft textures of women's underthings.

Some respondents, though, wanted to emphasize that online shopping at work has become more difficult. One is so exposed these days.

So 12 percent insisted that if their laptop screens are always full of entirely work-committed items, they can still use their phones to indulge their deepest habits.

Many might have imagined that convenience would be the most significant aspect of buying on the go.

And yet another recent survey, this time on behalf of Placecast -- which, also, oddly, would like to see growth in mobile shopping -- offered that parents of children under 18 are more likely to shop on their phones than their child-free counterparts.

Doesn't that suggest the privacy thing yet again? It is hell when your kids find out what you're really like.

How endearing that at a time when everyone is supposed to trumpet their openness and connectedness, quite a few people are using gadgets that they hope will give them the most closed-ness and privacy.