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Millennials admit using phones to avoid talking to people

Technically Incorrect: A new study suggests that holiday gatherings mean that millennials will use their phones strategically to avoid Uncle Bilbo.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The phone. It's such a great way to ignore people.

Buh/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This is the time we declare our independence.

We proclaim our individualism. We rail against those who would subjugate us. And we certainly aren't going to talk to Uncle Bilbo and that peculiarly coiffed lover of his at a 4th of July party.

In order to help us, we have our phones.

I know this because Bank Of America's Trends in Consumer Mobility Report tells me that 40 percent of millennials use their phones to avoid a conversation during a holiday get-together.

You might think the future greatest generation is simply hooked on its devices. But, no. It uses them to get away from you.

It's rather clever. While you're pitying them, they're bathed in relief that they don't have to hear about your latest hip surgery and that trip the two of you took to the Grand Canyon with your pet marmoset.

Our phones really are becoming our best -- and most helpful -- friends. Indeed, 25 percent of all the 1,004 American adults surveyed here between March 29 and April 12 admitted to using phones as people-avoiders.

This survey throws up more luscious examples of our device-love. Sixty-six percent of Americans rely entirely on their mobile devices for directions. Yes, even if it drives them into a 100-foot lake. Fifty-three percent say they trust their devices for directions more than they trust their loved ones.

And you thought selfies were a young-person thing? Yes, and most definitely no. Ninety-three percent of millennials admit to taking selfies, but so did 50 percent of seniors and 61 percent of baby boomers.

Please consider all this, as you enjoy your barbecue and the occasional barbed comment from an inebriated neighbor.

The people around you may be family and friends. But that little thing in your pocket, well, it's both.