Apparently That Text Can't Wait -- Not Even During Sex

Report Reveals Surprising News About Social Media and Its Grip on Our Lives

By Published on . 20

YORK, Pa. (AdAge.com) -- Would you answer a text during sex? If you're younger than 25, one in 10 of you would.

The 25-plus age group was half as tolerant to electronic interruptions compared to the younger under-25 set.
The 25-plus age group was half as tolerant to electronic interruptions compared to the younger under-25 set.
How about during a meeting? While you're eating? Or even while, as the Retrevo Gadgetology Report recently asked, when you're "on the john"? Some 22%, 49%, and 24%, respectively, of online under-25-year-olds agreed they "could be interrupted by an electronic message" while doing any of those things.

The older 25-plus age group was only half as tolerant to electronic interruptions -- 6% could be bothered during sex; 17% during a meeting; 27% during a meal; and 12% in the bathroom. But that's still a lot of people of all ages engaging in social media anywhere and anytime.

"Social media is embedded in our lives. It's why people go to a restaurant and check Foursquare before they sit down with their friends, then take a picture of their food before they eat and upload it to Facebook," said Manish Rathi, co-founder and VP-marketing at Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping and review site. "We've started asking these questions because we wanted to know how social media is contributing to gadget buying and usage."

While not that many people actively engage in social media during sex, they do in bed. Retrevo found that almost half of social-media users check in via phone while lying in bed. About 48% of those polled said they check or update Facebook or Twitter after they've gotten into bed at night and/or before they get out of bed in the morning. That number jumps to 76% for the 25-and-younger set, with a whopping 19% of those millennials saying they also check in whenever they wake up during the night.

The in-bed social media users are also scanning the news before their feet hit the floor, though it's not the "Today" show or "Good Morning America." Instead, 17% of social media users check in before they turn on the TV, and almost as many, 16%, rely on Facebook or Twitter as the sole delivery for their "morning news."

"It's what they want to know -- it's local and it ties into their social graph," Mr. Rathi said. "Will it replace 'Good Morning America'? Maybe not, but it might play an equal role, especially with breaking news as we've seen."

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, Retrevo also asked how many people have "friended" dear old mom on Facebook. About half admitted to being virtual friends with their parents, although the respondents were more likely teenagers and older kids, since parents also responded overwhelmingly that social-networking sites are most appropriate for ages 13 and up. Only 8% thought kids younger than 12 should have a Facebook or MySpace page.

Teens' parents seem OK with other social media too. Only about one-third of parents ban teen texting at the dinner table, and only 12% will take away social media as a punishment. Forty-seven percent said they would talk to junior about the misbehavior first; 27% would ground them; 22% would take away TV; and 15% would commandeer the kids' phones.

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