More and more efficient internet connection (we are at the threshold of the 5G technology entrance), larger screens or a growing selection of apps improve the comfort of use. At the same time, they cause the time of mobile devices usage is constantly increasing.
How long do we scroll?
On average, we spend about 3 hours using a smartphone. EMarketer reports that this score for American adults is 2 hours. 55 minutes. Including younger people, this result increases to 3 hours and 10 minutes. Given all mobile devices, we get 3 hours and 43 minutes. Last year, for the first time in history, the time spent on mobile devices was longer than the one spent on watching TV. It amounted to 21% of all time spent on media consumption.
The Chinese are ahead of the Americans
Amazing data was published by QuestMobile research company for the Chinese market. According to the analysis, last year the average user spent more than 6 hours a day using the phone. It is over 10% more on a 12-month scale. Over the year, the average number of apps used by the Chinese per month also increased – from 21.3 to 23.6.
Nonstop with a smartphone?
If we look at data for the whole world – the RescueTime app developer (app to monitor your activity on the device) says that the average time of using a smartphone is 3 hours 15 minutes. In the group of heavy users, who constitute up 20% of the sample, it is even 4.5 hours. 70% of screen sessions last less than 2 minutes and the average activity time is about 1 minute and 15 seconds. The most interesting seems to be the fact that about half of the session starts within 3 minutes after the previous one. Which gives an average of 58 activities on a smartphone during the day. According to the survey conducted by the consulting company Deloitte it is 47 times a day.
On the other hand, data collected in 57 countries by Zenith shows that the average time of using mobile internet has increased since 2015 from 80 to 130 minutes a day. This increase reached a pace of 13% per year. As forecasted by the agency, by 2021 growth will be lower by about 8%, due to the high saturation of smartphones in developing markets. Currently, 27% of global media consumption is via mobile internet. In 2021 this value will increase to 31%.
Where do these results come from?
If we insisted, we would find an app for almost every activity … We use smartphones for so many tasks that we are often not even aware of how much time we spend using them. Chats, email checking, calendar, newsfeed or social media are the very basics shouldn’t be mentioned … It’s been a long time since mobile devices have become a key tool at work and the most accessible entertainment provider at the same time. An example is the phenomenon of the pokemon GO game, which was to be a temporary fashion, and for the third year a row fans spend a lot of money in it (last year, 894 million $). What about the popularity of the Candy Crush Saga? Even the most important politicians or the largest entrepreneurs indulge in mobile entertainment – we checked participants of the Economic Forum in Krynica. The myth of a child player has long since fallen. Games as often, if not more, played by adults.
We spend over 90% of our time on smartphones in apps. We use social media, watch videos or listen to increasingly popular podcasts. Social apps bring our social life online. We are happy to use the integration of multimedia platforms with live streaming. E-commerce – the increasing digitization of the retail industry and the development of mobile payments – have an impact on extending the time of using smartphones. We use the smartphone while watching TV (so-called multiscreening), in public transport, while shopping or supporting our favorite team at the stadium.
How consciously are we able to approach the use of smartphones?
As consumers, we are increasingly aware that we pay with data for using a smartphone. We want to have more control over how this data is used and who makes money on it. On the other hand, we often share very personal information online. We always have the phone with us, and the dictionary has a new concept of nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia), i.e. the fear of missing or lost telephone within reach.
Have you checked how much time you spend on Facebook? Simply limiting the use of social media can give us more free time. Are you wondering how much? You can simply check it. The Android (from version 9) and iOS have a built-in function that allows you to monitor the time spent on the phone in individual apps. Thanks to them, we can more consciously approach device usage and ultimately reduce the time spent on it.
In iOS, it’s the Screen Time function where you see statistics broken down into social networks or office apps. Information about the time of using individual apps, screen activation or the number of notifications. Similar statistics can be found in the latest Android systems in the Digital Balance tab. For older versions of the system, it is possible to download the app on Google Play. Information about how many times you used an individual app on a given day, how many times you unlocked the device, how many notifications you received. After clicking the circle, statistics from the whole week will open. You can also set time counters. In both cases, it is possible to set limits on the use of selected apps.
Facebook and Instagram enabled similar measurement of time spent in apps and the setting off. You can check the stats on the time spent in the apps from its settings. On Facebook, you can, for example, set your preferences for news, set an alarm after a specified period of use of the app, or change notification settings. Also in the tab your activity on Instagram you can manage your time in this app.
Last but not least
The question remains whether we are able to more consciously approach the use of mobile devices? whether we will use the above solutions and take specific actions to reduce the time spent on the smartphone, opt out of social apps or disable notifications.