I'm a Gen Z, and I'm a "Smartphone Addict"

Our Haley Nixon is a whiz when it comes to digital marketing. But, that’s if she doesn’t have her nose in her phone. She’s admittedly a cell phone addict, and like other people in her age bracket, she’s not alone. Read her story…

Cell phones - 360x203In a game of “Who’s Most Likely To?” my friends would likely point at me for “lose their phone.” I leave it at a store, restaurant or some odd place about twice a month, only to get it back a couple days later (thanks to the “Find My Friends” app).

These are the times I realize just how dependent I am on my phone. I still cannot wrap my head around how the generations before me did things like meet up with friends at an event, get home safely after a night out or take a road trip. It is no surprise that our generation feels naked when we don’t instinctively feel our phone in our pocket, considering 63 percent of my generation would find it extremely difficult to live without their smartphones.

It is no secret that Gen Z-ers are reliant on our smartphones basically 24/7. CommScope’s proprietary Gen Z study found that on average, Gen Z checks their smartphones every three minutes, although a quarter check every two minutes or more. As a 21-year-old, I am reliant on it literally 24/7.

  • I wake up to my iPhone alarm.
  • I decide what to wear after looking at the weather app.
  • I look at my schedule for the day.
  • I map my way to wherever I have to be.
  • I listen to music whether I’m walking, studying, or working.
  • I pay for my coffee with Apple Pay.
  • I FaceTime my friends to make plans.
  • I ask Siri anything my curious heart desires and have the answer within seconds.
  • An app tracks my sleep throughout the night.

CLICK TO TWEET: Are you a smartphone addict like CommScope's Haley Nixon? You're in good company.

Even within my own generation, I look at the 13-year-olds out there holding their smartphone, tablet and laptop. When I was 13, my brothers and I all fought over who got to bring the flip phone to school that day. When my parents were 13, I don’t even know if they had a landline! While many Baby Boomers feel their privacy is being violated due to the knowledge our devices have on us, Gen Z-ers feel the opposite. We feel secure with all our information locked into our smartphones; we possess a “nothing to hide” mentality.

Everyone knows that we do things differently than previous generations. The traditional way to get the news is to read the paper or watch it on TV. Now, I listen to a podcast on my commute. I get notifications on only the news stories that I am interested in, without having to weed through all the junk I think is boring. This relates to our expectation of instant gratification.

In fact, 23 percent of Gen Z say faster Internet speed is the most desired future feature in smartphones. This is where network providers and supporters come in and must differentiate themselves from the competition. With the ease of communication and increased visibility of performance, if your network is slow, do you even exist?

For more information on Generation Z’s relationship to our smartphones, download CommScope’s report for Gen Z Study of Tech Intimates. Now, where did I put my phone this time?