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109 Technology Addiction Statistics: 2019/2020 Data, Facts & Insights

by Arthur Zuckerman

Technology addiction may easily be brushed off as an overreaction to today’s dependency on electronic devices, but a lot of cases of the said condition were proven to have serious implications. In fact, psychiatrists have included “internet addiction” in their manual of mental disorders. Likewise, a facility dedicated to treating this type of addiction was opened in the United States in 2013.

We have compiled over a hundred technology addiction statistics, revolving around three platforms that garner the most attention: smartphones, social media, and video games. Aside from delving into the usage rates of each, we also have information about their harmful effects on users. As a result, you will have an idea of how to deal with the different types of technology addiction.

technology addiction statistics

Smartphone Usage Statistics

Smartphone addiction is the most prevailing type of technology addiction, so much so that the inability to use the gadget has spruced up its own phobia (nomophobia). As the stats below suggest, people bring their smartphones just about everywhere, even in scenarios that don’t call for remote communication.  There is a selection of apps for any type of activity, which is why mobile phones have easily penetrated nearly every aspect of life.

Furthermore, the gadget appeals to people of all ages and has been one of the most predominant platforms for entertainment. Meanwhile, its portability gives it an edge over other devices like laptops and tablets, allowing users to slide it into their pockets or bags. Also, phone brands release upgrades every year, so the high usage rate of smartphones won’t be losing steam anytime soon.

  • The average smartphone user touches their device 2,617 times a day, excluding the ones performed when the phone is locked.
  • Heavy users, on the other hand, touch their devices 5,427 times a day.
  • On average, a smartphone user checks their device 63 times a day.
  • 80% of smartphone users check their phones within one hour before going to sleep. 35% of whom do within five minutes.
  • 40% of adult users check their mobile device within five minutes of waking up.
  • On average, users spend 2 hours and 51 minutes on their phones.
  • If tablets are factored in, the time spent balloons to 4 hours and 33 minutes daily.
  • 57% of American users admitted their screen time increased by more than an hour ever since the coronavirus lockdown was implemented.
  • 71% of users sleep with their mobile phones beside them.
  • One in three mobile phone users would rather give up sex than their phones.
  • Speaking of sex, 20% of 18-34-year-old phone owners use their devices during intercourse. Also, 1 in 10 adults admits to using their phones while having sex.
  • 33% of adult users use their phones while on romantic dates.
  • 35% of users have used their phones while in the movie theater.
  • 12% of users feel like their phones get in the way of their romantic relationships.
  • 31% of adult mobile phone users never switch off their phones.
  • Users unlock their phones 150 times daily.
  • The average person spends more time in front of electronic devices than asleep daily, at 8 hours and 41 minutes.
  • 58% of smartphone users will check their phones at least once every hour.
  • 1 in 3 people checks his phone by midnight.
  • The average user checks his phone every 12 minutes. For users below 21, the duration goes down to 8.6 minutes.
  • By 2025, 72.6 of all internet users will use just their smartphones to surf the web.
  • 72% of users refuse to move more than five feet away from their devices.
  • 58% of users tried to limit their mobile phone usage but only 41% believe they were successful.
  • US adult users spend around 3 hours and 43 minutes in front of their phones, which is slightly longer than the time spent in front of the television.
  • People with smartphones far outnumber those who have toilets.
  • 75% of US users use their phones in the toilet.
  • Unfortunately, 19% of them end up dropping their phones inside the bowl.
  • 50% of smartphone owners feel uneasy when they leave their phones at home.
  • In the US, 26 billion SMS messages are sent per day.
  • The last thing most people look at before going to bed is a smartphone.
  • The Top 10 countries in terms of smartphone usage are Brazil, China, United States, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
  • Almost 40% of all users admit to using their phones too much. The rate is even higher for 18-34-year-olds at 64%.
  • There are 5.19 billion mobile phone users in the world.

Source: eMarketer 2019

Smartphone Addiction in Teens

Being young typically means going out with friends, being at fun parties, and traveling to pristine locations. It comes as no surprise that those themes are typically found on the social media accounts of youngsters. With social media comes smartphones, and with the excessive use of smartphones comes the likelihood of addictions. For teenagers, the fear of missing out is often a good enough reason to pick up the device, which lends to their high usage rate.

  • A study by Common Sense Media in 2016 found that 50% of teens in the US believe that they are addicted to smartphones. 59% of their parents agree.
  • 78% of teen users check their devices at least every hour.
  • 72% of teens feel like they should respond immediately to instant messages, text messages, and notifications.
  • One-third of parents and teens in the US argue about the latter’s smartphone usage.
  • According to Screen Education’s Teen Smartphone Addiction National Survey in 2018, 71% of teen users recognize that apps are designed to be addictive.
  • 33% of teens spend more time communicating with close friends online instead of meeting up in person.
  • Interestingly, 69% of teens would rather meet up with their close friends instead of chatting online.
  • 41% of teens feel overwhelmed by the number of notifications they receive every day.
  • 80% of teens spend time on their phones in bed right before falling asleep.
  • 70% of teens mostly spend time on around 3-5 apps on their phones.
  • 49% of teens believe that cellphone use has shortened their attention spans.

Source: Screen Education

Smartphones as Serious Distractions Statistics

Cellphone use takes up a good portion of one’s day, which means it encroaches on the time usually spent on other activities.  The device’s tug at its user’s attention makes it a serious distraction at work and in school. This potentially affects one’s academic or professional performance. With millennials beginning to take up leadership roles in companies, the hours they waste in front of their phones over personal matters could have been spent to advance business initiatives.

  • 84% of US adults check their smartphones for personal matters at work.
  • 86% of smartphone users check their phones while talking to friends and family.
  • 52% of teen users meet up with their friends but still spend a long time on their phones despite being together.
  • On average, teens check on their phones nine times per hour while doing homework.
  • 35% of teens don’t consider watching videos, playing games, and using social media on their smartphones while in class to be rude behavior.
  • 30% of teens wind up not doing what they wanted to do because they were sidetracked by their phones. 35% weren’t able to do things that they needed to do for the same reason.
  • 72% of teens witness their classmates watch videos, play games, and use social media on their phones while in class.
  • 36% of millennials admit that they spend two or more hours at work tinkering with their mobile devices for personal use.
  • 70% of workers feel that they are distracted by their mobile phones while at work. If the population is sliced down to just millennials and Gen Z-ers, the rate would be up to 74%.

The Dangers of Smartphone Addiction Statistics

If smartphones can be serious distractions in the workplace, they’re far worse when used while driving or crossing the road. Distracted driving is one of the main causes of road accidents, which, in turn, are among the world’s leading causes of death. The minutes spent answering calls and text messages are more than enough to cause an accident. The fact is it only takes a few seconds to figure in a collision at high speeds.

For the aforementioned reasons, texting while driving is banned in 41 states in the US. But that hasn’t stopped people from using their phones while driving as the data below clearly indicates.

  • In a survey conducted by Zendrive in 2017, it was found that drivers use their phones in 88% of their trips.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists mobile phone use as one of the major distractions while driving.
  • The National Safety Council estimates that 1.1 million car crashes were caused by cellphones.
  • 26% of car accidents are caused by mobile phone use.
  • Interestingly, only 5% of phone-related accidents occur if the driver isn’t texting or sending messages on social media.
  • In the US alone, 2,841 people were killed due to distracted driving in 2018.
  • Drivers who use mobile phones while driving are four times more likely to figure in an accident than those who don’t.
  • On average, a driver spends 3.5 minutes on their phone while driving. A two-second distraction increases the likelihood of a car crash by 20%.
  • 56% of parents admit to using their phones while driving. 51% of teens see this occurrence.
  • 11 teens die per day from distracted driving caused by their mobile devices.
  • 32% of teen users text while driving.
  • 52% of teen users talk on the phone while driving.
  • 71% of teen users who spend five hours a day on their phones are more likely to develop suicide risk factors than those who spend only an hour on their phones daily.
  • 51% of teen users who spend five hours a day on their phones are less likely to get sufficient sleep than those who spend only an hour on their phones daily.
  • 90% of surveyed teachers admit that mobile phone use had led to an increase in students with emotional concerns.
  • The light emitted by phone screens reduces the body’s production of melatonin, causing users to have trouble sleeping.
  • A study suggests that people, when unable to answer or separated from their phones for long periods, manifest withdrawal symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens

Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Interacting with passengers: 15

Interacting with passengers

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Mobile phone use : 12

Mobile phone use

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Looking at things in the car: 10

Looking at things in the car

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Looking outside the window: 9

Looking outside the window

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Singing/dancing to music: 8

Singing/dancing to music

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Grooming: 6

Grooming

%
Most Common Causes of Distracted Driving Crashes in Teens
Reaching for an object: 6

Reaching for an object

%

Source: AAA

Created by CompareCamp.com

Social Media Usage Statistics

Smartphone addiction probably won’t be as serious if people weren’t so addicted to social media to begin with. As the data suggests, the time spent on social media apps accounts for 44% of the average user’s smartphone usage rate. And this is not counting the instances when people use their desktops and browsers. After all, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth wouldn’t have reached $54 billion if social media isn’t inherently addictive.

Like smartphones, sites like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat have encapsulated human life within four borders. With this, they have become one of the most predominant news sources, be it actual news reports, statuses that reflect the finer points of one’s day, or drawn-out opinions on various matters. This has led news agencies and publications to adapt to the said platforms to survive today’s digital age.

  • On average, a person spends two hours and 24 minutes per day on social media. This amounts to more than five years of his life.
  • Teens, on the other hand, spend almost nine hours daily on social media.
  • There are 3.8 billion active social media users in the world, 3.75 billion of whom use mobile phones.
  • The average smartphone user typically spends one hour and 16 minutes daily on the top 5 social media apps.
  • According to a study in 2017, there are about 210 million people addicted to the internet and social media worldwide.
  • Young, single women are the most addicted to social media among all market segments.
  • Facebook accounts for 22% of the internet time by the average American internet user.
  • 41% of teens admit to spending too much time on social media.
  • American smartphone users, on average, launch social media apps 17 times a day. On the other hand, countries like Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, and Mexico, open social media apps more than 40 times daily.
  • 68% of Americans have a Facebook account.
  • According to the US Bureau of Labor, more time is spent on social media than shopping, eating and drinking, socializing in person, and doing household chores.
  • Internet users spend the most time on Facebook at 58 minutes, followed by Instagram at 53 minutes, Snapchat at 49.5 minutes, YouTube at 40 minutes, and Whatsapp at 28 minutes.
  • 1 in 5 Americans would rather get their news on social media than in newspapers.
  • 52% of US adults get their news on social media.

Source: ThinkNow Media 2019

Effects of Social Media Addiction Facts

Socializing online has its share of differences compared to its non-virtual counterpart. For one, the physical distance between parties makes users bolder in expressing their opinions, including harmful ones. This paves the way for online bullying, which carries repercussions on one’s mental and emotional state. Moreover, since online interactions can be discreet, the platforms could encourage illicit affairs like cheating or sexual solicitations.

Even innocent posts can bear harmful effects on other users. For instance, a person down on his luck browsing social media might feel small upon seeing the luxuries flaunted by other users. He can also feel unloved if he sees his friends interact with other parties even though they haven’t been replying to his messages. Having a healthy mindset is ideal when going online.

  • Heavy use of social media can lead to increased narcissism.
  • Heavy use of social media can lead to lower self-esteem.
  • People who use Facebook more than once per hour are more likely to experience conflicts with their partners.
  • Facebook is now one of the main causes of divorces.
  • Between 11%-43% of social media users in the US feel bad when their posts receive only a few likes.
  • 37% of 18-24-year-old social media users find it unpleasant if they are not able to go online and check social media.
  • 21% of the same age group feel restless when they’re unable to check messages on social media.
  • 55% of US drivers admit to checking social media on their phones while driving. This is a cause of distracted driving, which leads to car accidents.
  • 8th graders who use social media heavily are 27% more prone to depression.

Videogame Addiction Statistics

If smartphone addiction has its own phobia, gaming addiction is officially recognized by the World Health Organization as an illness. The immersive experiences doled out by some games have a tendency to bleed into real life, with the most hardcore gamers giving up other activities or relationships just to level up or advance to the next stage. Unless a player is at the level to compete at eSports tourneys, striking a balance between leisure and productivity is the way to go.

Videogame addiction is also linked to smartphone addiction since mobile phones carry a massive number of gaming apps. In fact, 76% of videogame players prefer to play on their mobile phones.

  • 97% of male teens and 83% of female teens play videogames, be it on a console, mobile, or their computers.
  • Gamers, on average, play 7 hours and 7 minutes per week.
  • Hardcore gamers dwarf that amount. Males play for 4 hours and 43 minutes daily while females play for 4 hours and 23 minutes.
  • 26-35-year-old gamers have the highest average number of hours played per week at 8 hours and 13 minutes, followed by 18-25 year-olds at 7 hours and 47 minutes, then by 36-45 year-olds at 7 hours and 46 minutes.
  • Males play significantly more than females, with males averaging 7 hours and 53 minutes per week while females clocked in at 6 hours and 17 minutes.
  • Players spent the most time on their mobile phones at 2.01 hours, followed by computers at 1.59 hours, gaming consoles at 1.25 hours, and tablets at 1.04 hours.
  • 47% of teenage boys admit to spending too much time playing video games. Meanwhile, only 11% of teenage girls share the same view.
  • Aside from playing, male hardcore gamers spend 1 hour and 53 minutes daily researching games while females spend 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Male hardcore gamers own an average of 80.21 games while females have 64.44.
  • Male hardcore gamers typically buy 5.05 new games while females purchase 2.67.
  • There are 2.7 billion gamers in the world.
  • Adolescents spend more time playing video games than reading, doing homework, and engaging in sports and active leisure.

Source: Limelight Networks 2019

Effects of Videogame Addiction Facts

The usage rate of video games may not be as striking as those of smartphones and social media, but the effects of excessive play are nothing to be scoffed at. Videogame addiction, if left unchecked, can ruin lives, friendships, careers, and one’s health. It can also lead to violence should the exchanges of insults on the games’ chat function go overboard or if money is involved. While there’s no conclusive evidence to prove it, a lot of adults believe that the violence in video games can influence a gamer’s behavior.

  • Videogame addiction can lead to poor sleeping habits and insomnia, a disruption in eating habits, reduced social skills, losing friends, and a heightened risk for seizures. It can also affect one’s scholastic or professional success.
  • Excessive video gameplay may be a coping mechanism for those who have depression, anxiety, ADHD, and autism.
  • 6 in 10 American adults believe that violent video games contribute to the country’s gun violence problem.
  • Symptoms of excessive gameplay include fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and a lack of personal hygiene.

How to Deal with Technology Addiction

Unhooking yourself from the stranglehold of your favorite gadgets boils down to seeing technology addiction for what it really is—an uncontrolled habit. And as with any habit, it can be replaced with another activity that’s equally engaging or could produce results that you will benefit from in the future. In other words, you need other distractions to divert your attention away from social media, video games, and your smartphone.

The first things that come to mind are physical activities like exercise, sports, or any fun recreational activity. Even something as simple as cleaning your room or walking around your community can help. Physical activities increase the body’s dopamine production, which allows your mind to derive pleasure from them. Truth be told, this is one of the reasons why a lot of people are able to sustain their healthy lifestyles, on top of the desired physical results.

Another strategy is to implement a personal rewards system regarding work or school, with your addiction as a reward. For instance, before you can pick up your smartphone or gaming controller, you would need to complete a set number of deliverables. The longing for your gadgets will keep you motivated to finish your assignments and could even give you an extra push when you’re fatigued.

When all else fails, you can visit a professional. Psychiatrists have the tools and the know-how to help you manage your addictions better.

 


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