Young people bedding their smartphones: Cisco study

75% take them between the sheets; 90% wake up with them; IT is deceived into believing employees are faithful to corporate policy

In case you needed any confirmation that those young people you see tethered to their mobile devices everyday use them a lot, well... they really do! Cisco's latest research has unearthed some startling findings regarding Gen Y - students and workers aged 18 to 30 - and their smartphones: they sleep together!

Ninety percent of those 1,800 whippersnappers Cisco surveyed say they check their smartphones for updates in email, texts and social media sites, often before they get out of bed. And 75% use them in bed! Forty percent say they would feel like a part of them was missing if they couldn't use their smartphone.

If only marriages were so committed... Note to AT&T: you're breaking up some relationships that should be lasting.

Gen Y even brings their significant electronic others to work. Over 25% say they mainly use mobile applications for work. And smartphones have surpassed desktop computers as the preferred workplace device - they were rated twice as popular as a desktop PC and three times as popular as a tablet.

RIP, Cius.

Laptops are a formidable romantic rival, though. Even though the commitment to smartphones is strong, only one-third of Gen Y prefers a smartphone over a laptop if they had to choose only one mobile mate. Over one-third say their attentions would wander towards laptops.

All of which makes it particularly awkward for the IT guy. Even though they'd perhaps prefer to look the other way while all of this affection is wafting about, they best not: the Cisco survey found that while IT professionals know that many employees don't follow the rules, they don't understand how prevalent it is - 71% of Gen Yers say they don't always obey company policies forbidding use of company-issued devices for non-work activities. Two-thirds of them feel that employers have no business tracking employees' online activities.

Meanwhile, over half of IT professionals think their employees obey corporate device/personal use policies. Do they know they are sleeping with their smartphones?

Hell hath no fury like an IT administrator scorned. And yet they, too, are smitten.

Cisco found that 40% of IT professionals check their smartphones at least every 10 minutes, and almost one-third check them "continuously." That's nothing compared to Gen Y: 60% "subconsciously or compulsively" check their smartphones for emails, texts or social media updates, Cisco says, and 29% say they check their smartphones so constantly that they lose count.

And who's doing all the running around? Eighty-five percent of those compulsively checking their smartphone are women, compared to 63% of men.

Caught with your SIM card down!

All of this, of course, plays into Cisco's new "Internet of Everything" marketing campaign in which enormous amounts of data being generated daily by smartphones, sensors, video cameras, monitors and other connected devices. And as more people, processes, data and "things" connect and interact, it creates an "Internet of Everything" where the potential value of all that data grows exponentially, the company claims.

The findings are part of Cisco's 2012 Connected World Technology Report, which queried Gen Yers and IT professionals in 18 countries - 100 respondents per country.  The survey was conducted by InsightExpress, an independent market research firm based in the U. S.

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