The Weekly Round-Up: Smartphone addiction, iPhone vs coffee and department wars

Smartphones in the loo, iPhones in the office and why marketing must make peace with IT...

Smartphones in the loo, iPhones in the office and why marketing must make peace with IT...

Hi, my name is the Round-Up and I am an addict.

Yes, like one in three UK adults, I'm addicted to my iPhone.

Admittedly, as far as addictions go, it's a pretty modest one. So far the Round-Up hasn't felt the need to turn to crime to feed its mounting app addiction. But who knows? First it was one free app a day, but now I'm buying three 99p ones a day. Soon I'll be onto the really hard stuff like the £50 sat-nav apps...

According to research by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, one in three adults and two in three teens are now "highly addicted" to their smartphones.

Now if you're not quite sure what a smartphone looks like, why not check out our photo gallery of BlackBerrys through the ages while you're here, or find out why people will swap donuts, coffee and their precious holiday for the right to use an iPhone at work.

The Ofcom research also found that teens are ditching traditional activities in favour of their smartphone - a quarter watch less TV and 15 per cent read fewer books, although it's unclear if smartphone use has had any impact on levels of other teen habits such as moping, surliness and backchat.

Smartphone in toilet

When nature calls: One in five adults can't fight the urge to take their smartphone to the toiletPhoto: Shutterstock

Two-thirds of teens and over half of adults admit to using their smartphone while out with friends. Top tip: the Round-Up finds checking Twitter is an excellent way of avoiding buying a round when it's your turn.

A quarter of adults and a third of teenagers have used them during mealtimes and one in five adults and nearly half of teenage smartphone users admitted using or answering the phone in the bathroom or toilet.

Which means next time you call someone and it sounds suspiciously echoey, and they claim they're standing near to errr, a waterfall, well you'll know exactly what's going on.

Just be grateful you didn't make it a video call.

Teenagers are also more likely to use their smartphone in places they've been asked to switch their phone off such as the cinema or library - with 27 per cent admitting doing so, compared with 18 per cent of adults. This is, of course, the stuff that drives adults absolutely insane, which is exactly why the kids do it.

Predictably, mainstream response to this research has been divided pretty much evenly into two, mostly either jealous a) "How can kids afford an iPhone? In my day I had to make do with a hoop and a stick" or the standard technophobic b) "This just proves smartphones are the end of family life/ civilisation in general', with the odd c) "Lolz, tru dat. Sent from my iPhone", thrown in by one of the few teens who haven't given up reading entirely.

Attached at the hip

But it's not just the kids. A separate piece of research out this week shows office workers are happily abandoning all social graces in order to worship their shiny, shiny gadgets.

During face-to-face meetings, four out of 10 workers admit to...

...sending instant messages, responding to texts, listening to voicemails or checking their emails. One in 10 even admitted to updating their Facebook status in meetings. "Did anyone notice I just did a micro-sleep there? Sales projections for next quarter are zzzzzzz", for example.

Smartphone in meeting

Getting through the Monday morning meeting is so much easier thanks to smartphones and FacebookPhoto: Shutterstock

And one in five workers will cheerfully defy their superiors and stay connected when they've been told to explicitly disconnect, according to the research by social email provider harmon.ie.

Really this is just passive-aggressive behaviour going electric . Previously, stuck in the interminable meeting from hell, you might doodle, stare into space or concoct elaborate fantasies about exactly what you'd like to say to the boss before handing in your resignation.

These days we have Twitter and Facebook to take the edge off instead.

So don't blame it on the iPhone, don't blame it on the BlackBerry, don't blame it on the boredom, blame it on the boss. Or the boogie, whichever makes you feel better.

Smartphones: harbingers of the end of civilisation, or a useful way of editing dullards out of your consciousness? You decide.

Corporate oil and water

What techies think of marketing people: fashionably dressed airheads with trendy haircuts and stupid job titles like 'product evangelist' and 'ideation creative executive'. Renowned for coming up with clueless, ridiculous schemes that have no chance of succeeding. All talk, no walk.

What marketing people think of techies: grubby, arrogant, T-shirt wearing weirdos who have no interest in the broader business, and are much happier talking to beige boxes than actual people.

Techies and marketing folk - the ultimate example of corporate oil and water. And yet, the time has come for the two to work together.

According to a story on silicon.com this week, in order to satisfy tech-savvy customers, marketing and IT have to join forces - to manage customer data more effectively, for example, to give their customers a more tailored brand experience than rival companies.

That's right, techies and marketers are like the hilariously mismatched cops in a buddy movie, setting the world to rights and maybe - just maybe - learning a little bit about themselves and each other in the process.

Yup, marketing and IT are the new Tango and Cash. Or Turner and Hooch, if you prefer.

Also on silicon.com this week: find out if CIOs can ever learn to love Google+ or whether they've actually got quite enough to do already thanks very much.

And the Windows Phone operating system might not be the biggest earner in Microsoft's portfolio, but find out why you might be foolish to write it off just yet.

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