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: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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