90 percent of young people wake up with their smartphones

It’s as much of their morning routine as brushing their teeth. Which side of the bed do you give your smartphone?


Even before a cup of coffee, young people grab their smartphone.

A whopping 90 percent of them use their smartphone first thing in the morning, often before they get out of bed, according to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report.

They check their phones for emails, texts and social media updates.

Another sign of the times: The study doesn’t mention using them to make a call.

The third annual report surveyed 3,600 young people ages 18-30 from 18 countries on their tech habits using electronic devices. Gen Y’s attachment to smartphones continues throughout the day:

  • Three in four check their phones in bed;
  • More than a third check it in the bathroom;
  • Forty six percent text, email and check social media during meals;
  • Sixty percent say they’re “compulsive” about checking their smartphones and 42 percent admit to feeling “anxious” when disconnected;
  • And two-thirds say they spend the same amount of time—or more—with friends online as they do in person.

The report takes a look at smartphone use globally. In India, 96 percent of young people wake up with their smartphone. Worldwide, women say they are constantly connected to their smartphone more than men. Use our interactive map on cisco.com to hover over any country and get its stats.

Does this describe you? Almost a third, or 29 percent, of respondents check their phones so often they lose count, About 40 percent of the IT professionals surveyed check them once every 10 minutes.

The study reveals that around the world, boundaries between our personal and professional lives are blurring, in part, because we’re so connected. How many of us used to have two phones—one for work and one for personal—and now have just one? And how many of us no longer have a land line in our home, relying solely on our smartphones, blurring our home and work lives even more.

The study also says 71 percent of Gen Y (and I’m sure true for many of us) ignore workplace rules that forbid using handsets for personal browsing and doing it anyway.

Yet, this younger generation’s relationship with technology is undoubtedly maturing. Younger people are getting more concerned about security. In fact, this year’s study found three in four young people don’t trust Internet sites to keep their data private, and nearly a third are very concerned about security and identity theft.

We’re truly in a connected world. Our smartphone is not only the first thing we turn to in the morning, but the last thing we check at night. You may be reading this story on your smartphone right now.

Do some Web browsing at work, and check out the full study here on the Connected World site, and see that you’re not alone.

Mary Gorges is a creative communications manager at Cisco Systems.

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