The image of a Millennial head down, fingers whizzing over a smartphone is so commonplace, it’s become an article of faith to businesses that those kids want to use their smartphones, even in places you really shouldn’t. But a new survey shows that Millennials are less hooked on smartphones than many insist.
Deloitte ran a survey, which admittedly isn’t the most reliable source of data, to see how “kids today” were using their “gizmos” and it turns out, uh, they aren’t. That would be Grandma and Grandpa!
Smartphone usage has been trending upwards since 2015, but for the first time Deloitte found that smartphone usage declined or plateaued in 2017, with almost half (47%) of survey respondents reporting that they are trying to reduce or limit their phone use.
Interestingly, the most concerned groups of people are between 18 and 34 years of age. Seventy-two percent of 18 to 24-year-olds reported they “definitely” or “probably” use their phones too much, and 75% of respondents 25-34-years-old also said they use their phones too much. In contrast, only 13% of those 55 and older are concerned about their overuse.
Looking at the games spamming our notifications on Facebook, your grandparents may be a bit optimistic about overusing their phones. Anyway, to curb use, people are shutting off audio notifications or just shutting off notifications in general; leaving phones in pockets and bags in social situations, which seems like good manners in the first place; deleting unnecessary apps, and completely turning off their phones at night. How we use phones, according to the survey, is shifting as well. People tend to use phones as tools, to get directions, to compare prices, and other jobs. Interestingly, our usage patterns are changing but our amount of usage isn’t. People are checking their phones, on average, 47 times a day.
This survey may not be entirely true. It appears to rely at least somewhat on self-reporting. But even if the facts aren’t accurate, it’s an interesting summation of our attitudes towards the glowing screens in our bags and pockets. Smartphones probably aren’t going anywhere, but our approach to them is almost certainly changing. And it seems to be easier for digital natives to put them aside than for older generations who didn’t come of age with this tech.
In the end, our relationship with a technology shouldn’t be defined by words like “addiction.” That said, we doubt Hollywood or news networks will get the message anytime soon. “Millennials be textin'” is probably here to stay, at least until a new stereotype comes along.
(via Business Insider)