Do You Text & Scrub?

It’s not new news that smartphones are becoming ubiquitous in New Zealand: the latest stats show NZ penetration is now 54% (up from 44% in Q1 2012). But a second stat also caught our eye: a whopping 84% of NZ smartphone users are using their phone while doing “other things”. But what “other things” exactly?

It’s easy to trot out the usual cliché’s – on the bus, watching TV – but a recent US poll adds a little more colour to the question.  It asked 1,000 smartphone owners “In which of the following places, if any, have you ever used your smartphone?”, and the responses were surprising (or they were to us)…

  • 55% while driving
  • 35% in a movie theatre
  • 33% during a dinner date
  • 32% at a child’s school function
  • 19% in church or a place of worship
  • 12% while in the shower
  • 9% said during sex


It seems we just can’t bear to be without our phones: the survey also found that 72% adults are within 5 feet of their phone the majority of the time. Aside from the obvious questions (like, what are people doing taking their mobile phones into a shower?) these stats seem to support a growing body of evidence that connection technology is actually making us all lonelier. The addictive nature of connection means we miss the here and now,  preoccupied with the next connection “hit”.

So next time you find yourself reaching for your phone during a dinner date, perhaps you need one of these.

Date: August 29, 2013