The next time a 20-something colleague offers you the use of their phone, you might want to handle with extreme care. A new survey from networking giant Cisco has confirmed Generation Y has a (literally) unhealthy addiction to their smartphones — in addition to texting while driving, many freely admit to using their phones in the bathroom.
Toilet picture from Shutterstock
The Cisco Connected World Report surveyed 1441 college students and 1,412 professionals under 30 in an attempt to understand how mobile technology has impacted the lifestyle and working habits of Generation Y.
"Addiction is a strong word, but the way many under-30s interact with their smartphones can only be classed as addictive or compulsive behaviour," Cisco's A/NZ CTO Kevin Bloch explained.
"Out of the people surveyed, ninety per cent admitted to checking their smartphones first thing in the morning, 20 per cent are checking their phone every ten minutes and one-in-six are texting while driving, despite being dangerous and illegal."
A third of Gen Y-ers in the survey were so dependent on their smartphone that they even refused to part with it on the toilet.
"The main draw card of the smartphone is that you can use it in your idle time — whether you're on the train, in a queue or even visiting the bathroom. It has become an incredibly valuable technology for filling up your spare time," Bloch said.
"As our survey puts it, the smartphone has become the 207th bone in the human body; it has become that integral to your persona."
The survey also found 46 per cent of Gen Y-ers used their smartphones to text, email, and check social media during meals with family and friends.
"Human interaction is pretty important — if you're trying to have a conversation with someone who is continually reaching out for the phone, they're essentially breaking up that line of communication," Bloch said.
But are these findings unique to the under-30s set? Or are we all essentially as addicted, anti-social and filthy as each other?
"To be honest, I don't think any of these trends are that different as you get older," Bloch said. "I'm a compulsive reader when it comes to my phone — so wherever I am, I'm reading!" (For the record, we're pretty sure he was joking.)
Do you use your phone at the dinner table? How about on the toilet or while driving? Share your addiction levels anonymously in the comments section below.