What Millennials & Teens Are Doing On Their Smartphones Every Single Day

We surveyed 1000 13-33-year-olds to find out what exactly they're doing on their phones everyday, and how use varies between males versus females, and teens versus older Millennials...

In our most recent monthly survey, one 21-year-old female told us, “I can’t live without my smartphone because I am on it several hours everyday. When my screen died yesterday, I cried.” She's not alone. When we asked 13-33-year-olds to tell us which of the devices that you own is the ONE they can’t live without, 53% said their smartphones. Many just can't imagine getting through the day without it. 

Nielsen reports that 18-34-year-olds spend 11 hours and 26 minutes with smartphones weekly. For the first time in history we have a generation of teens who don’t remember a life without smartphones. Their reliance on mobile is impacting nearly every industry, which is why we continue to track their smartphone use. We asked the 80% of 13-33-year-olds who say they own a smartphone what they’re doing on their phones daily, to find out exactly how use varies between males versus females, and teens versus older Millennials. Here’s a breakdown of some of that activity for Millennial males versus females:

Both males and females are messaging on their phones more than any other activity, making messaging their top smartphone activity for the second year in a row. Apps like Whatsapp have clearly both spurred and benefited from the trend, and new messaging apps are appearing to compete for their attention almost daily. Social networking is the second highest smartphone activity, with females slightly more likely than males to access social media platforms on their phones once a day or more. Females 13-33-years-old are also more likely to take pictures, send pictures or videos, and check facts on their smartphones…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies