The latest Digital Australia report from Ernst & Young revealed that young Australians are almost constantly online with their mobile devices and are increasingly overwhelmed and distracted by the information their device provides. The research also sheds light on how consumers prefer to interact with mobile and provides insights for brands hoping to engage the new generation of always-connected Australians.
Mobile usage and emotion
Of 18 to 34 year-olds surveyed, 46% feel “addicted” to their phone or tablet, while 79% said they check their device as soon as they get up. 24% of the same demographic said they felt “overwhelmed” by the information their mobile device is providing, while four in 10 Australians say they struggle to keep up with the rapid increase in digital device capabilities. 53% said their device had a positive effect on their sense of control, while 30% said it negatively affected their sleep or stress.
Multitasking, but procrastinating
When they were asked about their multitasking habits, two of three said they did multitask when using their device. While this type of response suggests increased productivity, it equally increased their level of procrastination. Of the survey respondents, 77% said they use it while watching TV, 64% use it while in bed, 50% while eating a meal at home, 42% while in the bathroom, and 21% while driving. Nearly one-fourth of survey participants said they spend more time on their smartphones than they do talking with their partner or their friends.
Mobile is the new computer
Smartphones are firmly the computer of choice for Australians. The study concluded that they reached an 80% penetration overall, with an even steeper rate of 96% of 18 to 34 year-olds. Alongside the increase in mobile usage was the increase in demand for wearable technology. 14% of Australians are already using wearable devices, and this number is only expected to increase in 2016. Judging from the data, the line between laptops and tablets has become blurred. Laptop sales steadily declined from 72% to 68% year-on-year, while the increase in tablet/mobile device capabilities have caused tablet usage to remain stable.
Although popular, tablets are still being used for games and entertainment more than for functional tasks. Tablets are currently the least popular device for online activities such as banking, shopping, and work, which may be due to a lack of portability compared to smartphones, and the familiarity of laptops and desktops.