Loneliness has become an epidemic with more people living alone and leading more isolated lives. Roughly 40 percent of U.S. adults report feeling lonely. And younger generations have reported feeling lonelier than older generations. The health impact of loneliness is staggering. A combination of loneliness and weak social connections is the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

Is technology, and more specifically the smartphone, friend or foe when it comes to loneliness? Does the constant connection available through the smartphone make consumers feel a greater social connection and increase happiness? At Branded, we were curious if our users feel like smartphones make them feel happier or not. We polled our community on May 3, 2018, and 16,352 users replied.   

Overall, the majority of our users feel smartphones increase their happiness. About 63 percent of users say their smartphone makes them feel happier.

Looking at the data by generation, not surprisingly, Gen Z (age 13-21) and Millennials (age 22-38) are more likely than their older counterparts to say their smartphones make them happier. Approximately 80 percent of Gen Z say their smartphones make them happier, followed by 71 percent of Millennials, 65 percent of Gen X (age 39-50), 50 percent of Baby Boomers (age 51-69) and 39 percent of the Silent Generation (age 70+).

% of users who say Smartphones make them Happier by Generation

Within the younger generations, we observed variation by race and ethnicity. Among Gen Z, African American users are most likely to say their smartphones increase their happiness, with roughly 84 percent agreeing.  Following African American Gen Z, roughly 80 percent of Hispanic Gen Z, 79 percent of Asian Gen Z and 74 percent of Caucasian Gen Z say their smartphones makes them happier.

% of Gen Z users who say Smartphones make them Happier by Race/Ethnicity

Among Millennials, slightly different trends emerge when analyzing the data by race and ethnicity. Asian Millennials are most likely indicate that their smartphones make them happier with 82 percent agreeing. After Asian Millennials, approximately 74 percent of African American Millennials, 71 percent of Hispanic Millennials and 68 percent of Caucasian Millennials say their smartphones make them happier.  

% of Millennial users who say Smartphones make them Happier by Race/Ethnicity