The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

For Young Adults, Smartphones = Life

While still in bed each morning, most young adults check their smartphones for text messages. They peruse their Facebook feeds while brushing their teeth. They update their status online over coffee.

Connectivity is part of daily life for college students and young professionals aged 18 to 30, according to Cisco’s 2012 ConnectedWorld Technology Report.

The new study could be somewhat skewed—most of the nonstudent survey respondents work in information technology fields—but the results still confirm this age group is firmly welded to their smartphones. Some 90% said they look at their mobile devices first thing every morning for messages and 60%, especially females, repeatedly recheck throughout the day. Roughly half admit they text and do social media during meals with family and friends at the table.

Cisco claims this compelling need to connect is “meaningful” for employers because “it demonstrates that the workforce of the future is more agile, more informed, and more responsive than any previous generation.” Employers may be more concerned about whether young workers are distracted by their smartphones.

There was one surprising outcome of the study: Despite all the time they spend with smartphones, this age cohort doesn’t download a lot of apps. About 70% said they have fewer than 10 apps on their phones. Half mainly use apps for games and entertainment, and another 27% have work-related apps.

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