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12 Screen Time Statistics for 2023
Updated · Jul 28, 2023
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On top of this, the pandemic made things even worse! According to Frontiers, there has been a 50 to 70% increase in screen time during COVID-19 lockdowns.
We curated more interesting research-backed stats and facts to shed light on this serious problem. But before, we highlighted important research points here for those hurrying to read the whole thing.
What is the Average Screen Time Per Day?
Globally, people spend twice as much time online than watching TV. In 2021, people spent more time on the internet than watching TV, according to media use statistics.
That can be attributed to increasing social media usage and streaming applications like Netflix and YouTube.
To learn more about how these contributed to screen times, here are some statistics regarding daily average screen times:
1. How much time does the average internet user spend online?
Internet users spend 6 hours and 37 mins online. In 2021 the average was 6 hours and 57 minutes, but it dropped to 6 hours and 37 minutes in Q3 2022. The return to pre-pandemic activities likely lessened the screen time by only 20 minutes.
What’s concerning is that the daily average time spent on the internet is almost close to the amount of sleep time an adult must have. In some cases, people acquire higher screen time than sleep length.
2. The average screen time spent on social media is 2 hours and 31 minutes.
Since 2016, the average time spent on social media is 2 hours. When the pandemic restrictions had eased, widespread mobile use had also decreased. However, this is not the case for social media, as it still increased by 3 minutes since 2021.
These are the top five leading social media platforms:
The worrying thing is most users spend 12 to 23 hours per month on those social media platforms. That contributes to widespread social media addiction, affecting 16 to 33 million Americans.
During a content moderation hearing in 2020, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were questioned whether their platforms are addictive. The former called these claims “inconclusive.” Meanwhile, Dorsey stated:
I do think, like anything else, these tools can be addictive, and we should be aware of that, acknowledge it, and make sure that we are making our customers aware of better patterns of usage. The more information, the better here.
3. Internet users in South Africa spend 9 hours and 38 minutes online daily.
South Africa ranked first as the most hyperconnected country. They spend nearly 10 hours daily online. Due to the increasing internet penetration across Africa, there is broader access to the internet. South Africa's internet stability and affordability are among the best.
4. Japan scored the lowest, with only 325 minutes daily on average online.
Among the 45 countries surveyed, Japan had the least daily screen time. They're only averaging at 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, Denmark had the lowest time at 4 hours 58 minutes among European countries.
5. 57.8% of internet users utilize their screens primarily to find information.
Around 60% of working-age internet users go online mainly to search for information. They access the quintillions of data created daily by searching and scouring through internet platforms.
Connection to family and friends is the second reason for internet usage, according to 53.7% of users. Hence, the massive traffic on social media apps. Other reasons include keeping up with the news and watching TV shows, videos, or movies.
6. the average screen time in the US is nearly 7 hours per day.
The average American spends 6 hours and 59 minutes browsing the internet on their devices. It is slightly above the global average but tied with Singapore's daily average.
Among the popular type of apps and websites visited by users are shopping and classified ads. That fact played a part in Amazon gaining $730.5 billion in revenue in 2022.
Note: American phone and social media usage has also been increasing in the past few years. Check out the following articles for the exact numbers and figures:
Average Screen Time Statistics by Age
Spending hours on screen and online can be justifiable. For instance, if it's work-related, device use could take up at least 8 hours daily. However, 41% of surveyed US adults have difficulty managing device usage.
This is especially true for modern-day parenting, where young children develop early dependence on smartphones and the internet.
See more statistics below about screen time habits by age.
7. Gen Z averages around 7 hours of screen time per day.
Generation Z (those born in 1997-2012) spends the most average screen time among other generations. For the average American teenager, screen time is split into:
- Video watching
- Playing video games
- Social media browsing
8. Almost 3 in 4 parents of children aged two or younger allow TV screen time.
It has become quite common to let young children watch television. A survey by Pew Research reveals that 88% of parents say their child interacts or uses TV. At the same time, 67% of parents allow their children to interact or use a tablet computer.
These statistics reflect why Baby Shark is YouTube’s most-watched video, and other videos for children dominate that list.
9. 1 in 5 parents of children younger than 12 allow smartphone ownership.
Another common trend with kids nowadays is getting their devices at a young age. 78% of parents say that the primary purpose they give smartphones to their kids is for communication. This data is not surprising, given that we are in the age of hyperconnection.
The best thing parents can do to maintain communication and protect their children from screen time harm is to employ reputable parent control software.
Helpful Articles: Plenty of internet threats target vulnerable individuals like minors. This is why it’s crucial for parents and guardians to know what these risks are and how to mitigate them. You’ll find the following articles to be of help:
10. 61% of tweens enjoy watching online videos.
(Common Sense Media)
Tweens between 8-12 years old say watching online videos is their favorite media activity. The same is true for 62% of teens aged 13-18.
The study also showed that teens and tweens would choose YouTube over other social media platforms. In fact, 85% of American teenage boys watch on YouTube daily.
Average Screen Time By Country
It’s safe to say that every person has come face to face with a screen, whether through a phone, TV, or computer. These devices have become an integral part of everyone’s lives.
In South Africa, people spend 10 hours and 46 minutes on their screens daily, marking the highest worldwide.
The countries that follow South Africa’s screen time generate figures that are not far off. Discover more about them below.
11. An average American has a 7-hour screen time.
(Cross River Therapy)
The rate of smartphone ownership in the US is rising. Further statistics regarding Americans and mobile phone usage reveal more than 311 million smartphone users in the country by 2025.
With the increase in number of phones, so will the average screen time.
12. The top countries with the highest screen time spend 47.34% to 58.21% of their awake hours on the screen daily.
The average person is awake for 16 to 18 hours per day. The top countries spend more than half of that staring at screens.
Here are the top 10 countries with the highest screen usage based on their awake hours:
13. Australians average 5 hours and 40 minutes of daily screen time in 2022.
That’s a 10-minute increase from the previous year’s 5 hours and 30 minutes average screen time. 67% of the respondents from the same survey also revealed they scroll mindlessly throughout the day.
With the increase in device usage, the Australian government released a recommended screen time guideline:
14. An average Indian’s screen time increased to 4 hours and 30 minutes in 2020.
(The Times of India)
In 2019, Indians averaged 2 hours and 30 minutes only. However, the pandemic caused an increase in screen usage, so in 2020, screen time in India rose by 80%.
Concerningly, some Indians have over 4.5 hours of screen time. Over 6,000 individuals were surveyed in Hyderabad City regarding their screen usage. 62% of the respondents admit to over 8 hours of daily screen time.
15. Filipinos spend almost 6 hours of mobile screen time.
Filipinos average 5 hours and 31 minutes daily using their mobile phones. Brazilian users closely follow, averaging 5 hours and 28 minutes. However, there has been a global decrease in screen time, with an average reduction of 20 minutes. The Philippines had a big cutdown, too, with a 1 hour 13 minutes average decrease.
Average Screen Time Statistics by Device
Most smartphones and phone applications have built-in screen time controls. This lets the user and the app know the average screen time.
In this section, we will look at the most time people spend on mobile phones and desktops, the top two devices that account for daily web visits. By examining these statistics, we can see the growing difference between device use.
16. South Africans spend 4 hours and 25 minutes on desktops.
South Africans have the highest desktop screen time daily. Russians come in second, spending an average of 4 hours and 17 minutes on their computer screen daily.
According to a recent survey, the global average desktop screen time has been reduced by 23 minutes since 2022. It was previously at 3 hours and 14 minutes but has dropped to 2 hours and 51 minutes.
17. Over half of the respondents to a 2021 survey say they use their phones for an average of 5 to 6 hours a day.
That figure doesn’t include work-related smartphone use, and factoring that in can double the average screen time. This data includes iPhone and Android phone usage.
Meanwhile, 22% of the respondents admit to using their phones for 3 to 4 hours. Only 5% reported they spend less than an hour on their daily screen time.
18. The average computer usage is 2 hours and 51 minutes worldwide.
Smartphone usage has undoubtedly surpassed computers, with 92% of internet users going online via mobile phone. Regardless, the use of computers is still relevant as 70% of internet users still use the device.
Average Screen Time Trends
There were 3.5 billion smartphone users recorded in 2020. With the growing dependence on mobile phones, that number is set to rise continuously.
Along with the increase in smartphones is the spike in screen time. Continue reading and learn more about screen time trends.
19. There was a 1% increase in average screen time from 2021 to 2022.
The 2022 data reported the average screen time of an individual is 6 hours and 58 minutes, which is 4 minutes higher than 2021’s figure.
Counting everyone’s screen time will be equal to over 5 billion days! That’s how much screen time everybody collectively spends in a day.
Note: The hike in smartphone users also brings an increase in Internet use. These go hand-in-hand with causing a significant rise in screen time. Discover mobile and internet trends by reading other related articles from Techjury:
What Contributes to the Average Screen Time?
People use their phones for various reasons. For instance, there are personal and work-related screen time.
Meanwhile, parents grant their kids mobile phones for communication, but children often defy that purpose by using the device for gaming and socializing.
Find out below which of those purposes contribute the most to the average screen time.
20. The average person spends almost 2.5 hours daily on social media.
Social media eats up the majority of a person’s screen time. Every day, the average person uses various social media platforms for 2 hours and 31 minutes.
In this age, we use social media to connect and communicate, follow trending topics, and seek entertainment. It’s no surprise it’s the lead contributor to increasing screen time.
There are various social media platforms everyone uses, but these are the leading contributors to higher screen times:
Social media platform
Weekly time spent using social media
23 hours and 28 minutes
23 hours and 9 minutes
19 hours and 43 minutes
17 hours and 20 minutes
21. On average, it takes a person 64 seconds to check a new email.
(McKinsey & Company)
People check their emails an average of 11 times per hour. Doing the math, that means we spend 12 minutes per hour opening and reading emails.
Note: Emails may sound outdated to some people, but they remain a relevant communication form. Check out other Tehjuy articles depicting the importance of email worldwide:
22. Based on a 2022 survey, people watched an average of 19 hours of online video content weekly in the same year.
This figure represented an increase from the previous year’s 18 hours. Watching videos is essential during screen time, as 66% of internet users consider video their primary source of information.
The forecast for the end of 2023 is that video consumption will decrease from 19 hours to 17 hours.
23. Children and teens are averaging 91 minutes daily TikTok screen time.
TikTok was installed 2.6 billion times and has been closely competing with other social media platforms since its release, especially YouTube. The latter only generates 56 minutes of watch time from children and teens.
However, when it comes to active users, YouTube has 2.3 billion monthly users globally, while TikTok only has 689 million.
24. Stanford students spend 78% of their daytime staring at a screen.
Before the pandemic, Stanford students spent 50% of their daytime in front of their screens. Due to online classes, that spiked to 78%, which is roughly 14 hours worth of everyday screen time!
Staring at a laptop, tablet, or phone screen is integral to these students’ studies.
25. The average screen time for remote workers is 13 hours per day.
Remote workers were surveyed through an online poll, revealing their average screen time of 13 hours daily.
The pandemic catalyzed this change in workplace settings, where people worked from their homes and only virtually collaborated with their colleagues.
There are even hybrid setups where employees work on-site and virtually, alternately. Nearly 60% of companies operate in this setup.
Impacts of Increasing Average Screen Time
Although people remain connected and seemingly close to each other thanks to the Internet, there are still various negative impacts of this time-consumers.
Below, we’ll present figures that correlate with the consequences of increasing screen time.
26. Almost half of teens check their mobile phones after 5 minutes of being up.
Although Gen Z is considered the digital natives, the excessive amount spent on the screen is a serious problem that negatively impacts health.
As 48% of teens check their smartphones immediately after waking up, doctors warn why this habit is detrimental:
“By waking up and scrolling through emails, and checking Instagram, you skip important theta brain waves and head straight into a beta brainwave of high stress which has a significant impact on the brain's physical structure.
Looking at your phone right after waking up could hijack your time and attention, and make you less productive.”
27. According to a national poll, 38% of respondents say social media is harmful to mental health.
(American Psychiatric Association)
Only 5% of the national poll’s respondents believed social media had solely positive impacts. Further studies are siding with the majority. Social media may promote the following negative feelings:
- Fear of missing out or FOMO
- Feeling inadequate about your life or insecure about your appearance
Other data reveals excessive use of smartphones is correlated with depression and anxiety.
28. Between 50% to 90% of people using computers for work have at least one symptoms of eye problems
Computers cause an eye problem called computer vision syndrome (CVS). It’s similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms are:
- Eye irritation
- Dry, red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Neck or back pain
As the world returns to normal after the pandemic, there has been a reduction in screen time consumption. Still, the numbers remain higher than experts recommend.
Unfortunately, staggering screen time is normalized. It’s an inescapable reality that we must access these screens to function through the day, carrying out work and study, while also maintaining connection.
Still, spreading awareness of the effects of excessive screen time and promoting a healthy and balanced lifestyle is still beneficial.
Is there a recommended screen time limit?
Experts recommend no screen time for children under 2, one hour for those 2-12, and two hours for teens and adults.
How can I reduce my screen time usage?
Set a screen time limit and stick to it. Also, take frequent breaks between screen use and engage in physical activities.
How can I track my screen time usage?
Many smartphones and other devices have built-in screen time tracking features. Apple’s Screen Time and Google’s Digital Wellbeing are the famous ones.
Social media apps like Instagram also have a feature that will notify you when you go beyond the desired daily limit.
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