Mobile has “completely changed the boundaries” of what is socially acceptable, with 74 per cent of 16-24 year-olds stating they cannot be parted from their mobile phones, stating a “need” to have them on their person at all times, according to a joint study from Havas Media Labs and Weve.
The study, conducted across 3,000 16-24 year-olds in the UK this May, revealed that a large proportion (79 per cent) of respondents regard using their phones on the toilet as the norm.
Almost two-thirds said they will check their phones when out with friends or colleagues if there is a lull in the conversation, while 29 per cent of them believe it is completely or sometimes acceptable to use their mobile phone in a work meeting.
However, this is still fewer than the 25-34 year-olds, of which 38 per cent believe it is acceptable to use their phones during meetings, according to the report.
The study also revealed that the increased use of smartphones and social media is leading to a lack of planning in young people, with 35 per cent saying they plan less.
Meanwhile the majority of respondents said it is acceptable to use their mobiles in quiet zones, such as on trains or libraries, while 22 per cent judge people depending on what mobile handset they have.
Havas Media’s head of futures Amy Kean said over the last decade the proliferation of mobile phones has changed the human psyche “dramatically”.
“Because of this, marketing should be changing too. It's the brands who understand the complexities of this new narcissistic, spontaneous and mobile-dependent consumer that will stand out amongst the noise."
Nigel Clarkson, commercial director at Weve, the mobile marketing and wallet joint venture between EE, O2, Vodafone, said although the findings aren’t surprising, they highlight the shift to “almost total dependence” on mobile for multiple utilities and services.
“Given the contextual capabilities of mobile like location data, immediacy, and presence in apps and content sites, we believe there is still so much more the marketing community can do to fully take advantage of this huge cultural shift in behaviour. This study with Havas recognises the importance of mobiles in people’s lives. Our job is to translate that into real marketing insight.”
“We know the audience is there and we know for certain demographics they are always on, always connected and engaged. Mobile has some unique characteristics and with the right verified audience, brands and marketers can have an impact and relevance that can really matter to a consumer.”
The survey also showed that two-thirds of respondents agreed they are more confident exploring new places knowing they have map apps to fall back on for navigation.
Well over two-thirds (69 per cent) said they use their smartphones to take photos of themselves, compared to only 11 per cent of those aged over 55 years old.