Skip to content

Phone Peril: Gen Z Faces Most Close Calls, Survey Finds

Gen Z experiences 187 phone mishaps a year, while 69% of all adults use partly broken phones, says Asurion survey.


Whew, that was close! The average person experiences about 140 moments of “phone peril” a year, including almost dropping or cracking their phone.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, divided evenly among Generation Z (18–26), Millennials (27–42), Generation X (43–58), and Baby Boomers (59–77).

Results found Gen Z to be the clumsiest generation, averaging 187 “close calls” annually.


Although the average person has owned their phone for only 2.2 years, a whopping 69% are using a partly broken phone — including 79% of Gen Z.

What are the most common issues people’s phones currently have? A cracked or scratched screen (24%), followed by battery problems (21%) and overheating (15%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of tech care company Asurion, the survey also found nearly a third feel they can go without their phones for the entire summer.

But for all the talk about younger generations and their phones, just 27% of boomers would be willing to spend the summer without their devices — fewer than any other age group. And just 18% of boomers would visit a resort without their phone in hand.

From taking photos to checking the weather, people’s phones are an extension of their lives. Half (49%) “always” use their phone to listen to music, so it’s no wonder they would go to great lengths to keep their tunes going.

“From work to leisure, our phones are rarely out of arm’s reach,” said Marvin Maldonado, Asurion Tech Expert. “Whether you’re hitting the beach, the pool, or the trails this summer, you likely have your phone in tow for music, photos, maps, and more. While a lot of today’s phones are water resistant, no phone is fully waterproof – and a cracked phone is even more vulnerable to liquid damage. If your phone is broken, get it fixed before hitting the water, and remember to always back up your data – just in case.”


Overall, more than half (57%) plan to visit a beach this summer, with a similar amount (60%) usually taking photos or videos there.

And nearly half (47%) believe the summer isn’t perfect without pictures to capture it.

While family (73%) and favorite food and beverages (61%) topped people’s summer essentials, smartphones weren’t far behind.

“If you’re someone who relies on a sandwich baggy to protect your phone – or if you’re one of the bold few who go totally caseless – you might consider grabbing a waterproof phone pouch and a tempered glass screen protector this summer,” Maldonado added. “Depending on your travel plans and your phone’s value, you might also consider phone insurance for added peace of mind.”

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. adults split evenly by generation (500 Gen Z, 500 millennials, 500 Gen X, 500 boomers) was commissioned by Asurion between June 20 and June 22, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are the Market Research Society members and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Produced in association with SWNS Research

Edited by Judy Marie Sansom and Sterling Creighton Beard

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners