A recent Pew study determined that 83% of "the Millennial generation" (18- to 28-year-olds) like to have their cellphones within reach when they sleep. It's a practice those of us in the 45-to-65 age group might want to consider. Why do those kids do this? Must we also have multiple tattoos to benefit from having a cellphone nearby when we sleep?
The study doesn't include explanations about why, but our friends at Unplugged.com have teased out a few reasons, and I'd like to add a few more of my own.
From Unplugged: The cellphone is an excellent alarm clock. If the power goes out, some alarm clocks don't have battery backup, and then, uh-oh, you're late for work. But then I ask, what if the battery on the cellphone runs down? Well, the younger set is probably more fastidious about cellphone battery life, because they're so obsessed with staying connected. Yeah, Facebook.
Sleep Tech: Unplugged also suggests they're using the cellphone as a sleep aid. Noise machines, sleep cycle aids and such rule the roost here.
My take: They've most likely ditched their land lines, as I recommended just the other day, so why not set that smartphone on the nightstand when you hit the hay? And think of it this way: If that teenager of yours has some kind of emergency after you've gone to bed, your cellphone stands at the ready.
Here's another reason: If you're using a smartphone, catching up on the latest emails is a great way to wake up in the morning — even better than the snooze button. Reading the latest (and hilariously written) Groupon Deal of the Day, chuckling at a humorous email from a friend, and just having a bright light shining in your face from your cellphone's screen is enough to clear the cobwebs.
And another: There are so many excellent docks for smartphones (here's one of my favorites), it's a more pleasant experience to wake up to your favorite songs than some honking, screeching or beeping alarm.
Take a look at Unplugged's astute reasoning, then you might want to follow the link to Judy Woodruff's interview on the PBS Newshour, offering a fascinating look at the Pew study revealing what makes Millennials tick, including a few points about those multiple tattoos. And finally, take the Pew Research Center's "How Millennial Are You?" quiz, and let us know in the comments how you compare to the Millennial generation. Yikes! I scored a 73. Beat that!