Italian lifestyle is changing because of technology, as everywhere. A survey found that Italians are using smartphones more than their European fellows.

I have the feeling that Italians are especially obsessed by their mobile phones.

A few days ago I was on a local train and when I looked around here’s what I saw. I could see fourteen people around me. One lady was reading a book, one guy was doing a business call and another one was writing on laptop. All the others were staring at the screen of their smartphone. I have to include a twelfth one: myself. I had been¬†focussed most of the time on my twitter feed.

My mini-survey might be done on a small sample, but I have a more comprehensive set of data to rely on.

According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Survey 2015 Italians are really using their smartphone more than their European fellows.

We are at the first place in Europe in checking notification on our smartphone 30 minutes just after waking up and 30 minutes before sleeping: 70 % of Italians declares to do it, much more than the European average (60 %). Most of Italians (68%) check the smartphone if even they haven’t been notified: Spain is at second place with 63%. 20% of us take a glance to the smartphone while driving. Even the sacred rite of meal is not free from the smartphone domain: 60 % of Italians look at their telephone at restaurant. German and Dutch are much more polite with 25% and 30% of them declaring to do so. We are at first place also in using our smartphones to replace other devices: to take photos, to check social networks, to read news (Italy 35%, Europe 27%).

Italians want the newest device.

60 % of Italian smartphones in 2015 have been bought less than one year before.

Why? Apparently just to have it: 36% of Italians declares they bought a new smartphone because they liked it more that the old one (against 33% of European average). But we have our own ideas on style: surprisingly Apple iPhones are less than in Europe (14%, while Apple market share in EU is 20%). The favourite brand is Samsung.

This is quite contradictory considering that on the other hand , despite our love for smartphones, we seem to be nearly unaware of the data safety issues we could meet. An impressive 65% of Italians declares to be available to share information generated from their smartphones with companies, much more than our European fellows (UK 55% and France 35%) and 16 % would easily share every kind of information.

After reading this survey I can’t help to ask myself why do we love so much smartphones. Beyond the cold data, to find an answer I have to look at the behaviors I see around .

Is Italy really a technology aware country and the 24/7 connected life is improving Italian lifestyle?

I’m afraid I ended with a different conclusions. According to this data, Italians apparently like to have a smartphone just to have a smartphone. We are available to change every year, but we mostly have rechargeable cards (74 % while in Europe they are only 34 %) instead of contracts ,that might be a way to control expenses.

So we like to spend money to have it, not to use it.

Moreover we are more reluctant that others to buy online and to use mobile devices for payments.

Why are Italians so smartphone obsessed?

Family life.

Yes yes, Italian lifestyle is family-centered, you’ve heard it a lot. You heard that family bounds are important for every Italian and that Italian mamas takes care of their children, especially males, until they are forty. I’m not going to discuss this commonplace because it may be too long – also because it’s probably true. What device better than a mobile phone to get in touch with your family, like, always? Finally mothers know exactly where are the kids every minute and they can bother the son with an instant message even on the first date with the girlfriend.

Appearance.

I guess from outside Italians might look a little bit obsessed by appearance. Being well-dressed and good looking is important to many of us. It’s something we’ve been raised with. After all, our we exported Italian lifastyle, design and fashion all over the world. Sometimes, I admit, we exceed. Some Italians like to have the last smartphone as they like to have new sunglasses: just because they look better with it.

What about linguistic skills?

There’s another point which is the most worrying. What does people read on their screens? According to the research, mostly notifications from the social networks, instant messaging and news. I guess that you don’t read an essay on Kant’s philosophy on your mobile, it’s enough you read the title of an article and a few lines. You watch photographs and videos and you read basically short texts. In a recent survey run by OECD, Italy reached a bad score in the linguistic skills. The percentage of people reaching in reading tests score 1 (the worst) or less, is 27%. The raising percentage of aging people and to the structure of industry might have an influence. Whatever the reason, apparently about one quarter of Italians could find laborious to read a long text. Could it be a reason why Italian like so ¬†uch reading on their mobile phones? If so, it’s a bit scary to think about the implications.

Have you visited Italy and did you find people in Italy are smartphone-addicted? Leave a comment and if you like this post share it! Thank you!