"Compared to older generations, Millennials feel much more pressure to respond immediately to text messages and instant messages," said Felice Gabriel Miller, founder and President of Delvv. "In the space between true smartphone addicts and regular users, there are probably a lot of people who use their smartphone excessively just to avoid the social consequences of disconnecting. This helps explain why people 'phub' (i.e. phone snub) in social settings where they know they shouldn't."
The Delvv Digital Habits Survey 2016 uncovered the following insights:
Text Message Response Times:
- 32% of Millennials (18-29 years olds) expect replies to text messages within 15 minutes, while only 25% of Gen Xers (30-59) and 13% of Baby Boomers (60+) expect the same.
- There's a gap between expectations and personal actions: 79% of Millennials say they respond to text messages within 15 minutes, and 56% of Gen Xers and 46% of Baby Boomers claim likewise.
Instant Message Response Times
- Roughly half of Millennials (49%) respond to IMs within 15 minutes, while 30% of Baby Boomers respond to IMs whenever they feel like it and 29% respond within 24 hours. This is consistent with their expectations: 46% of Millennials do expect a response within an hour or less, and 43% of Baby Boomers don't care when people respond to IMs.
- 43% of respondents who report high anxiety levels expect responses to instant messages within one hour or faster versus 29% of those with low anxiety. 58% of respondents with high anxiety claim to respond within one hour or faster versus 43% of those with low anxiety.
Responding to Calls with Texts
- A majority of respondents (69%) believe that if people receive a phone call and they're busy, they should not answer and call back when it's convenient.
- However, young people are most likely to text back to ask why the person called. 4% of Baby Boomers, 10% of gen Xers, and 23% of Millennials report doing this.
"Phubbing" (phone snubbing)
- Most respondents (68%) feel that if they text someone who is at dinner with company, that person should not look at the message until after the meal.
- Respondents who reported lower happiness levels are more likely to expect immediate responses. 76% of the happy crowd is okay with a recipient waiting to look until after their meal versus only 60% of the unhappy crowd. In the unhappy cohort, 23% expect people to look at the message but not text back, 7% want an immediate reply, 7% want the recipient to go to the bathroom to text back, and 2% expect a call back.
- Respondents with higher anxiety levels are also more likely to expect immediate responses. 74% of respondents with low anxiety think it's okay for a recipient to delay looking until after the meal, whereas only 55% of respondents with high anxiety have the same expectation.
- 29% of Americans would rather give up all sexual interactions for three months than switch from a smartphone to "dumb phone" (i.e. a phone that can call and text only; no apps, email, or internet) for three months. However, people who reported high anxiety levels and weak connections to friends and family were more likely to give up sex before their smartphones (36% and 38% respectively). Respondents with low anxiety and strong connections were less likely to give up sex (23% and 25% respectively).
- 74% of Americans would prefer to give up alcohol for one month than give up a smartphone for one week. Notably, 84% of Millennials (18-29 years old) elected to give up alcohol compared to 74% of Baby Boomers and 71% of Gen Xers.
- Americans are split between giving up sweets for one month (49%) or switching to a dumb phone for one week (51%). A majority (57%) of respondents who report low happiness would give up sweets to keep the smartphone. A majority of (53%) of respondents who report high happiness would choose the dumb phone to keep sweets.
- 86% of Americans would prefer to give up social networking for one day than fast for one day. However, 22% of respondents who report high anxiety levels would choose to give up food before social networking, while just 9% of respondents with low anxiety levels would give up food before social networking.
- 61 percent of Millennials feel they should use their smartphone less often. Only 40% of Gen Xers and 14% of Baby Boomers felt the same way.
Delvv® is building the next generation of mobile apps to tackle information overload. Silicon Valley-based Delvv was founded in 2013 by co-founder and former Chief Scientist of Reputation.com, Raefer Gabriel, and consumer products executive Felice Miller Gabriel. For more information, visit www.delvv.com and follow Delvv on Twitter at https://twitter.com/delvvapp.
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