Hey, you there, the one reading this from your smartphone.
What is this, like, the 85th time you’ve looked your phone in the last 24 hours?
If you’re the average smartphone user, that’s exactly what it is. According to research published in the journal PLOS ONE, we use our smartphones twice as much as we think – 85 times a day, which adds up to five hours of total eye-on-screen time.
That’s a third of our waking hours spend on our phones.
“Psychologists typically rely on self-report data when quantifying mobile phone usage in studies,” says Lancaster University psychologist Dr. David Ellis, which, as these findings reveal, is not a sound strategy. “Our work suggests that estimated smartphone use should be interpreted with caution.”
So in addition to asking participants to estimate how much time they had spent on their phone, researchers had them install an app that recorded all their actual usage over a two-week period. Interestingly, more than half of our smartphone sessions last just 30 seconds or less.
So the very devices laying waste to our attention spans can’t even hold our attention themselves. Fascinating.