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New research has found that the average American checks their phone 96 times a day and often does so out of habit or boredom. That is roughly once every ten minutes.
The data also shows that Americans check their phones in the middle of conversations with others, while driving, and during many other activities. The research was conducted by tech company Asurion, which shows a 20 percent increase from a previous survey conducted two years ago.
Addiction is not a new phenomenon—smartphone addiction was predicted by experts over five years ago when smartphones surpassed feature phones in sales numbers.
Generation Z is the biggest user when it comes to checking their phone. The 18-24 years old has nearly double the national average rate. You don’t have to worry about notifying them of their problem either. They are very aware of excessive use. The survey found that 68% of those users reported trying to curb their addiction by finding ways to use their phones less.
The problem isn’t going away anytime soon. However, 71% found using apps that track your usage helpful for keeping down hours spent on their phones. Other recommendations include using a screen time tracker to set goals or become aware of how much you use your phone. iPhones come with this feature, so you might have to see what is available on the market if you don’t have one.
Users reported several reasons why the use was so excessive, which may or may not surprise you.
Some Americans feel like their phone use gives them balance when it comes to work and life. They look at the phone like it is a time management tool. It makes them more productive and allows them to feel like they can accomplish all of their tasks. While this can be a benefit to some people, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people get distracted when they use the phone and don’t get what they want from their devices.
Others use it to escape and make themselves feel better after a bad day or when they are bored. Nine out of ten adults say they feel disrespected when they’re in mid-conversation with someone, and they start checking their phone. It was ironic considering that the same group said they had done the same thing to others during conversations.
Americans feel their constant use is justified for staying connected to family and friends. This was likely another ripple effect of the pandemic where people were trying to find a way to communicate, especially in the beginning where lockdown mandates were in place. It also makes socializing easier and brings people closer together.
Others feel like it is a consistent part of their day and try not to let go of it. It is almost as if they are comforted by holding onto their phones or tablet because they don’t know what to do without them.
The data suggests we will continue to see the numbers rise. While we enjoy this luxury because we can, there is also a concern about where it will be in another decade.
Experts recommend limiting your screen time to no more than two hours per day when it comes to adults. If you are one of the many Americans who use your phone constantly because of boredom, try something new like finding a hobby, reading a book, or even going for a walk when you feel tempted to binge the video section on Facebook for several hours.
Excessive phone use is troubling when it comes to your mental health. The associated risks include the following.
- Poor sleeping habits
- Increased addictive behaviors
- Neck pain
Researchers even found in 2020 that addicted phone users had lower cognition levels. So before you check your emails and social apps every morning before work, think about your mental health and wellbeing. Is it worth seeing what your favorite celebrity is wearing for the day or what is trending on Twitter thirty times throughout the day?
People survived just fine long before cell phones were invented, so you should have no problem putting your phone down for an extra hour or two or even three during the day.