By Paul Whitefield
3:55 PM EDT, July 11, 2013
That’s it -- I am now officially out of step with modern life.
What else can I say after reading this: “Most adults always have smartphone close by, 1 in 10 use it during sex.”
Which gives a whole new meaning to the old-timey term “party line.”
The Times’ Salvador Rodriguez reported Thursday on a survey conducted last month by Harris Interactive of 1,102 smartphone users:
Nearly 3 in 4 American smartphone users surveyed said they are within five feet of their devices the majority of the time, according to the 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits study.
More than a third said they use their device at movie theaters and 12% said they even use it while in the shower.
But perhaps most unusual is the fact that almost 1 in 10 users, or 9% of respondents, said they have even used their smartphone during sex.
The number of adults using their smartphones during sex rises to 1 in 5 when looking only at the 18-to-34 age group.
Around the office water cooler (otherwise known as email; we don’t talk in person much anymore, especially after one colleague complained bitterly about being the only one who replaces the water tank on said water cooler), this item engendered much merriment.
Patt Morrison weighed in: “Second graf: How?”
Jon Healey opined: “Yes they do, but at least they set the ringer on vibrate.”
And some young voices (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent): “In the shower?” -- which perhaps explains a lot about the millennials and their attitudes toward sex and/or cleanliness.
On Tuesday, my colleague Alexandra Le Tellier wrote on the Opinion LA blog about America’s declining birthrate, attributing it in part to economic uncertainty left over from the Great Recession. But this latest news gives the discussion a decidedly new ringtone.
Perhaps, for example, young people now have an app for birth control? Or do they need GPS to aid in lovemaking? (Certain spots can be hard to find!) Do some phones come with e-cigarettes? Or an e-book copy of “The Joy of Sex,” in that tiny type that only young folks can read without glasses?
For us older users, though, this is just evidence of one more Pandora’s box we don’t need to open: “No, honey, I don’t need Viagra, I just need to recharge the battery.”
Now, everyone knows we live in a wired world. We’re connected. We’re 24/7 multi-tasking, multi-purpose, increased-productivity workaholics.
But, with the wisdom of more than a few decades, and at the risk of being labeled a curmudgeon, I submit that there are some places a phone -- smart, dumb or otherwise -- simply doesn’t belong: At a funeral; in church; at the theater; in a driver’s hand/ear/lap in a moving car.
And no, not in the shower either.
And certainly not in the sack.
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