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There's A Whole Generation Of People Using Their Phones On The Loo

The 18-29 year-old age bracket are the worst offenders.

22/06/2017 12:25 AM AEST | Updated 22/06/2017 12:03 PM AEST
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There's a generation of people using social media in the loo.

Next time you go to the bathroom, there's a reasonable chance the person in the cubicle next to you is scrolling through Instagram.

A study by digital expert Sensis found social media usage while on the toilet is now normal for 14 percent of the population. It's even more common among men (17 percent vs 12 percent of women) and 18 to 29-year-olds (30 percent).

Sensis Digital Spokesperson, Rob Tolliday told HuffPost Australia social media usage has jumped another ten points this year.

"It's young people who are the social media junkies, with most now checking in as the first and last thing they do every day," Tolliday said.

"The bathroom selfie, food porn shot or toilet swipe are now daily habits for many young adults, with three quarters also happy to connect with complete strangers on social media."

Jana Barsova / EyeEm via Getty Images
You haven't lived until you've taken a bathroom selfie. No, really.

According to the survey, while Facebook remains dominant (95 percent usage), the other networks are growing in popularity, with Instagram on the rise (up from 31 percent to 46 percent) and Snapchat usage almost doubling this year (up from 22 percent to 40 percent).

Sixty-three percent of 18 to 29-year-olds admit to being 'excited' when their post receives more likes than they expected, while more than a third (37 percent) feel anxious when they're not able to access their social media accounts.

Nick Glozier, Professor of Psychological Medicine at the Brain and Mind Research Institute, Sydney Medical School said excessive social media use may be re-wiring people's brain.

"Every like or retweet acts as a reward and releases small doses of dopamine that leave us happy. As a result we adapt our behaviour to chase further chemical rewards within the brain, and feel craving like symptoms and anxiety when we can't get them," Glozier said.

"We see that more than half of the population are checking social media first thing in the morning and in the evening. For couples, this has the potential to impact on their romantic relationships, as they are distracted from the important daily routines that maintain their emotional connection with their partner and family."

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For the younger generation, checking your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night is the norm. Oh and taking LOTS of mirror selfies: just because you look good today.

A recent U.S. study found that narcissism is on the rise among young people, as are anxiety and distress.

"People feel pressure to compete in a fantasy world of posts that sometimes bear little resemblance to the reality of their day to day lives," Glozier said.

Other Key Survey Results

  • Males (36 percent vs 27 percent) and 18 to 29-year-olds (74 percent vs average of 31 percent) are more likely to make friends with strangers on social media. In terms of platforms, men dominate LinkedIn (22 percent vs 14 percent), Instagram (50 percent vs 41 percent), Twitter (35 percent vs 28 percent) and Snapchat (43 percent vs 36 percent), while women prefer Facebook (97 percent vs 91 percent).
  • Four in 10 have posted food porn on social media and this is more common among men (43 percent vs 38 percent) and 18 to 29-year-olds (82 percent), while similar numbers have posted selfies (45 percent average and 88 percent for 18-29s).
  • 40-49 year-olds are twice as likely to have been bullied (11 percent vs 6 percent average) and the most likely to have witnessed bullying on social media (28 percent vs 18 percent average).
  • From a political perspective, 'slacktivism' participation has declined (down from 39 percent to 19 percent), although three in 10 (29 percent) have engaged with posts about Donald Trump, with 18-29 year olds above average (42 percent).

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