The rise of mobile screen time: we spend three months a year on our phones

3 months a year in front of the smartphone, 349 minutes a day, with Gen Z unlocking it 79 times a day: statistics we need to reflect on

According to the 2024 We Are Social report, we spend the equivalent of three months a year staring at our phone screens. This means a quarter of our year is dedicated to scrolling through social media, checking notifications, and interacting with various apps.

If you’re contemplating all the things you could have done instead of spending this time on your phone, you’re not alone. Data reveals that we spend an average of 349 minutes per day on our phones, roughly 41 hours per week, totaling seven days a month. This translates to 12 weeks a year—a statistic that’s certainly alarming.

But why do we spend so much time on our phones? It’s not just about checking the time or notifications; we are constantly seeking dopamine hits every time we receive a notification.

For Generation Z, the average phone unlocks happen 79 times a day. However, it’s not just the young who suffer from this addiction; Boomers are also involved, often spending time playing games like Candy Crush or similar.

How to curb this addiction

We’ve developed a compulsive need to stay online, constantly monitoring the virtual world around us—from friends to influencers, from news to memes. This need for control extends to our online lives, carefully curating our digital image through photos and posts.

Finding a balance is necessary, but it requires discipline and awareness. Some may not see any issue with this addiction, but numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of excessive phone use, affecting both children and adults, negatively impacting development and cognitive abilities.

Psychotherapist Giuseppe Lavenia suggests reintroducing traditional items like wristwatches to reduce dependence on smartphones for basic functions. This could help decrease compulsive interactions and promote more mindful phone use.

Source: Digital 2024

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