Getting fully absorbed by the functionality of your smartphone is easy these days, especially during the self-isolation that we’re going through due to the pandemic. But how much time do we actually spend staring into these portable glass sandwiches? A survey on 1000 participants of varying age has found that on average, it’s 76,500 hours, or 8.74 years if you prefer.
The study took into account that people now buy a smartphone when they reach the age of ten, and then devote about three hours per day to using it. There’s a discrepancy between the three different generations, as expected, with “millennials” being a lot more dependent (3.7 hours per day) on their electronic gadgets than “boomers” (2.5 hours). In a year, the former spend 56 days using their phones and the latter merely 39.
Of course, to calculate the average time we use our smartphones during a lifetime, we have to determine the duration of people’s lives. The researchers used the National Center for Health Statistics figure of “life expectancy” in the United States, which is 78.7 years. Subtracting this from 10.3, which is the point of first ownership, we have exactly 68.4 years of smartphones in our lives. And finally, the survey considered 15 hours for a person’s average “awake” hours. All in all, the 9-year figure they ended up with seems pretty close to reality.
If we are to account for the rapidly shifting situation with remote working and remote education, conducting this study again in the next couple of years could yield significantly increased figures.
As for how you can reduce screen times on the smartphone, try out one of the following methods:
- Instead of watching YouTube, choose a podcast to play, and put the device aside.
- Use an internet blocker app or a time-limiting auditor like “Wellbeing” or “Moment”.
- Just lock your device in a drawer so it’s not within easy or immediate reach.