Commentary

Extreme Multitasking: 20% Of 18- To-34-Year-Olds Admit To Using Smartphone During Sex

Let’s give it a second so everyone can process the image of exactly how that talented 9% of all adults and 20% of the 18- to-34-year-old segment manage to have sex and consult their phones at the same time. Apparently, youth conveys both extreme comfort with technology along with superior dexterity. But according to the 2013 edition of the Mobile Consumer Habits Study conducted by Harris Interactive for Jumio, that is exactly what is going on in some bedrooms.

This is one of those stats aimed at making the point about how intimate relationships with mobile devices have become. It goes along with the finding that 72% of adults with smartphones keep them within 5 feet most of the time.

Does everyone have their own personal image of what it takes to manage your phone and sex at the same time?

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The natural follow-up question that no one seems to ask in these surveys is which channel and media type these ultimate multitaskers are consulting during sex. Is it an app? Response to an alert or SMS message? A quick Web lookup? And you can imagine the keyword possibilities there. But in all semi-seriousness, how do you target this mobile use case? Let’s see some real studies here about who is clicking on what ad during sex. What are the hot categories here? No pun intended.

What calls to action really work in this instance? And is this more of a branding opportunity or do you really expect people in the situation to have an immediate response? I'm guessing that form filling may be out of the question, but you never know with someone who's consulting their phone during sex to begin with. But again, more research is needed. And if you have it, please call me. I am programming the Mobile Insider Summit for Lake Tahoe in August. And the theme is The Year of Context Marketing. Research of this sort certainly would be relevant. The line for those who want to help interview the focus group forms to the right.

To be fair, the Harris and Jumio study is making a larger and valid point about this notion that the mobile phone is seen by Americans as an extension of themselves. And so the use cases become stranger, more intimate and even more dangerous. Fifty-five percent say they are using their phone while driving, and 19% admit to consulting their phone while in a church.

It is interesting -- perhaps troubling -- that it is the younger segment that not only recognizes how intimate a device the smartphone has become, but this is also the group most likely to violate someone else’s privacy. Among all adults, 29% admitted to snooping on someone else’s phone. But that number balloons to 47% among adults younger than 35. So the bottom line for this generation is that they are twice as willing as the rest of us to use their phones while having sex and even more willing to poke around someone else’s phone looking for secrets.

Speaking as a 55-year-old fart who is still uncomfortable just going into his wife’s handbag to retrieve an Advil let alone burrow about on her iPhone, I have to wonder what the hell is up with these kids anyway? 

5 comments about "Extreme Multitasking: 20% Of 18- To-34-Year-Olds Admit To Using Smartphone During Sex".
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  1. Suzanne Sanders from S2 Advertising, July 12, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.

    Well, if you got it on vibrate! Sorry the copy writer in me couldn't resist the pun. Verizon should be all over this.
    LOL! TMI!

  2. Brian Leary from The New York TImes, July 12, 2013 at 3:02 p.m.

    If you are texting during sex, you need to find a better bed partner.

  3. Robert Bentz from ATS Mobile - Advanced Telecom Services, July 12, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.

    Since 20-somethings don't really talk any more, they are likely sexting their partner while.

  4. Gregg Hamilton from AdGooroo, July 16, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

    Discussed this with my Millenial son and he noted that we aging Puritans assume that the competing application is texting, but instead, and quite likely, it could be the camera app. Doh!!

  5. Steve Smith from Mediapost, July 16, 2013 at 3:53 p.m.

    Hilarious.

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