I’d probably get this article done faster if I wasn’t checking my phone every couple of sentences. Even if I’m not expecting a message and know that everyone I was talking to is currently busy, it’s likely I’ll still neurotically check my phone every few minutes just in case.
Turns out I’m not alone in my mobile addiction.
A study from Deloitte of 2,000 U.S. internet users aged 18 to 75 found most people check their smartphone roughly 47 times a day.
Younger users nearly double this stat, checking their devices around 86 times a day, up from 82 times reported in the 2016 study.
The study also assessed which activities drove users to check their smartphones. Patterns of use compared to the previous year remain relatively unchanged except for self-reports of checking the phone while driving, which has fortunately decreased.
More than nine out of every ten respondents confess they use their phone while shopping or “spending leisure time.” Over eight out of ten reported checking on phones while watching TV, eating in a restaurant, and even while talking to family and friends.
When watching a show that’s longer than eleven minutes, I put my phone on the opposite side of the room if I want any hope of paying attention. I know if I keep my phone next to me, I’ll miss crucial chunks of episodes. This is a partial attempt to manage the addiction.
Likewise, around 47 percent of respondents said they’re trying to limit their usage, and are actively taking steps to reduce time spent on their phones. Some people report success by simply keeping their phones out of sight, turning it off during meals, or while spending time with friends.
A third of those surveyed turn off audio notifications, while around a quarter even went as far as putting some apps the chopping block. Another quarter could only part with their phones at bed time, turning their devices off at night.
Having a smartphone is fun (an addiction), but you don’t want to end up being that sad woman in the “Selfie” episode of High Maintenance only interacting with your phone.
Sometimes it can be much healthier to just put your phone away for a while. This can be a few hours of no phone time, or if you cans swing it, a few days of “business only” phone time.
Let people know if you’re going radio silent for a significant amount of time though, because otherwise your mom will think you’re dead if you stop responding to texts. Now please excuse me while I fail to follow my own advice and continue the technology loop of checking my Snaps, texts, and Instagram feed.