Call it the ultimate case of coitus interruptus: 1 in 10 young people say they would not mind being "interrupted by an electronic message" during sex, a new survey of 20-somethings reveals. And even larger numbers say they see nothing wrong with texting "on the John," or during other private moments. This obsession with staying in touch has become the new normal — but is it healthy? (Watch a local report about teens texting during sex)
How bad is our addiction to texting?
It's pretty severe, judging by the Retrevo Gagetology Report (a survey of 1,000 people in their 20s). Among those under 25, 22 percent say they would send a text message during a meeting, 49 percent during a meal, 24 percent on the toilet, and 10 percent during sex. Young adults over 25 are more protective of their privacy, with 62 percent saying they "didn't like to be interrupted by digital communications in general."
So is the bedroom sacred for over-25ers?
Hardly. Half of the over-25 set say they update their status on Facebook or Twitter after tucking in for the night, or before their feet hit the ground in the morning. That number skyrockets in the under-25 set: 76 percent say they log in to social media in bed, and 19 percent admit to doing so when they wake up in the middle of the night.
What about that old-fashioned distraction — the phone call?
It's a more frequent intruder than texting — 15 percent of American cellphone users have interrupted sex to answer the phone, according to a 2005 international survey from AdAge. The phenomenon is even more common in Spain, where 22 percent of people reported picking up the phone during sex; it happened least in Italy, where only 7 percent did it.
How do these distractions affect us?
They might contribute to insomnia, for one; several studies have shown that making the bed area a "no-technology zone" can improve sleep quality, and help romantic relationships. And some say keeping a cellphone close at night can be downright dangerous. In 2004, a Malaysian man named Mohamed Rahzuan Yasin's charging cellphone exploded in the middle of the night, "scalding" his buttocks and leaving burn marks on the mattress and wall.