45 Scary Smartphone Addiction Statistics, 2019 [Nomophobia on the Rise]

by Deyan G.

Hello nomophobes 🙂

Nomo-what ?!

Stop.

There’s no need to involve Google in this. If you haven’t heard the term, I’ll explain it in a minute.

Today we’ll take a look at some smartphone addiction statistics. They will help us understand if we are addicted to our mobile device and if it could pose a problem to our health and social life.

So why did I call you nomophobes?

Well, since we’ll be talking about mobile devices addiction, we should use the correct term, right? And it is nomophobianomobile-phone-phobia. Simply put – it’s the fear of not having your phone with you.

Jaw-dropping Smartphone Addiction Statistics

  • The average smartphone owner unlocks their phone 150 times a day
  • Using smartphones for longer intervals of time changes brain chemistry
  • 66% of the population shows signs of nomophobia
  • 71% usually sleep with or next to their mobile phone
  • Smartphone use and depression are correlated
  • 75% of Americans use their mobile phones in the toilet
  • 20% of people would rather go without shoes for a week than take a break from their phone

So is it a common phenomenon, or just a term, created by psychologists to keep themselves busy? We at TechJury looked deep into the smartphone addiction stats, double-checked them and we can share what we’ve found:

1. 66% of the population shows signs of nomophobia.

(Source: Trendhunter)

Two out of every three people are addicted to their phone. So, at the very least, you’re bound to know people who fit the profile. If you’re not sure, then keep reading and by the end of the article, you will have a clearer picture.

2. Nomophobia is the People’s Word of 2018.

(Source: Cambridge Dictionary)

Users‘ votes for this word show undoubtedly that smartphone dependency is a real thing in 2018.

3. The average smartphone owner unlocks their phone 150 times a day.

(Source: Internet Trends, Kleiner Perkins)

We laugh roughly 15 times a day. And we check our phones ten times more than that.

Smartphones have become a permanent factor in our daily lives in the last decade. Even now you are probably reading this on a mobile. We take them for granted, but do we stop, even for a second to ask ourselves:

How Often Do I Use My Smartphone?

Cell phone use statistics show that:

4. Users spend on average 2 hours and 51 minutes a day on their smartphones.

(Source: Bankmycell)

Users spend on average 2 hours and 51 minutes a day on their smartphones.

In comparison, the quality time people spend with their families amounts to less than 45 minutes a day.

5. 58% of smartphone users don’t go 1 hour without checking their phones.

(Source: CNet)

Of course, younger people find it harder (68% of people of age 18-34) to keep their hands off their smartphone for an hour.

6. Brazilians spend 4 hours and 48 minutes online via a mobile device.

(Source: Statista)

Chinese are second in terms of their mobile phone usage – 3:03 and Americans are third with 2:37.

7. The average user touches their phone 2617 times a day.

(Source: Dscout)

10% of users are qualified as “heavy users” – they touch their phone (swipe, tap) 5427 times a day!

8. More than half of smartphone owners never switch off their phone.

(Source: Psychology Today)

Never. 24/7/365.

9. 71% usually sleep with or next to their mobile phone.

(Source: HuffingtonPost)

3% of them sleep with their phone in their hand. I will not comment on that.

10. 40% check their phones in the middle of the night.

(Source: Deloitte)

When waking in the middle of the night, 40% of people grab on their phone first. This definitely illustrates how useful phones are to us. (and maybe why some people don’t want to let go of them)

11. 80% of smartphone users check their phone within 1 hour of waking or going to sleep.

(Source: Deloitte)

…and more than one-third of said 80% will do so within 5 minutes.

12. 41% of all adults check their phone a few times an hour.

(Source: Gallup)

41% of all adults check their phone a few times an hour.

13. The average US smartphone owner checked their phone an average of 52 times a day in 2018.

(Source: Deloitte)

That’s up from 47 times a day in 2017.

14. 75% of users admit that they have texted at least once while driving.

(Source: TrustMyPaper)

Actually, cell phone addiction studies show smartphone use is more dangerous on the road than alcohol abuse.

Now that we’ve seen how much we use our smartphones, we can ask some questions. Do we master our technology, or is it the other way around? How do these numbers affect our physical life and relations? Let’s see.

How Teens and Their Parents Cope with Smartphone Addiction

We will also review the mental problems caused by nomophobia.

15. Screen time is the third most frequent source of conflict between parents and teens.

(Source: Common Sense Media)

Parents argue with their teens mostly about chores (35%), bedtime (33%) and phone usage (31%).

16. 58% of teens feel that people generally expect them to respond immediately to notifications.

(Source: Screen Education)

And therefore:

17. 41% of teens feel overwhelmed by the number of notifications they receive daily.

(Source: Screen Education)

18. 46% of parents in the UK “feel addicted” to their mobile devices.

(Source: Common Sense Media)

Oddly, only 44% of UK teens felt the same way about their devices. 50% of their US peers feel addicted as well.

19. 63% of parents feel teens are addicted to their devices.

(Source: Common Sense Media)

Teens’ smartphone addiction doesn’t worry only the moms and dads in the UK. 61% of parents in Japan feel their kids have acquired some sort of technology addiction, according to statistics. Third are the US parents (59%).

20. 78% of teens check their devices at least once an hour.

(Source: Common Sense Media)

21. 48% of teens use a mobile device 5 minutes after they wake up.

(Source: Common Sense Media)

22. 33% of teens spend more time socializing with close friends online, rather than face-to-face.

(Source: Screen Education)

33% of teens spend more time socializing with close friends online, rather than face-to-face.

69% of teens wish they could spend more time socializing with their close friends face-to-face.

I remember the time when face-to-face was the only way of socializing. Probably most of you do too.

Anyway, even when teens are outside, socializing face-to-face, phone addiction statistics show that:

23. 52% of teens sit around in silence, staring at their smartphones for extended periods when they are together with friends.

(Source: Screen Education)

If you didn’t know this already, these statistics might be an eye-opener. Let me build upon that with some scientific data.

How Smartphone Addiction Affects Teenagers?

I will just let the stats speak for themselves.

24. Teenagers who spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 71% more likely to have suicide risk factors than those with one-hour use.

(Source: Jean M. Twenge)

Smartphone dependency statistics also show that:

25. 8th graders who are heavy users of social media are 27% more likely to have depression.

(Source: Child Mind Institute)

26. Teens that spend 5 hours a day on electronic devices are 51% more likely to get under 7 hours of sleep.

(Source: Bankmycell)

27. 80% of teens typically spend time on their phone after they go to bed.

(Source: Screen Education)

28. Smartphone use and depression are correlated.

(Source: The Guardian)

More than two decades ago – in 1998, the American rock band “The Offspring” released a single you’ve probably heard – “Kids aren’t alright”. It has voiced the concerns of “grown-ups” for two generations now.  As far as the current generation of kids is concerned, the song could easily refer to the statistics on cell phone usage we’ve reviewed above.

Except it wouldn’t really be fair to point that out. You wanna know why?

Adults are even worse than teens.

In the next section of this article, we’ll try to understand

How Smartphone Addiction Influences Our Daily Lives?

Before we step into the adult’s world of smartphone-zombies, let’s define the word “addiction” first. The word “addict” was used first in 1909 to describe morphine addicts. It derives from the Latin word “addico”, one of the meanings of which is “enslaved”.

Are adults “enslaved” by smartphones, like teens are?

While reviewing smartphone statistics for this article, I was really surprised how many of these statistics relate to me, personally. So I’d like to share them with you. We’ll find out together where we stand in the digital world.

29. 85% of smartphone users will check their device while speaking with friends and family.

(Source: Bankmycell)

85 percent! Arguably, revising our smartphone habits might prove useful if we want to improve our social life.

30. Adults spend on average 45 minutes per day on social media.

(Source: Nielsen)

Let it sink in for a while…

45 minutes…

Everyday…

Advertisers are quite happy with those cell phone usage numbers, I can tell you that. Hopefully, the adults are happy as well.

31. We’ll spend an average of 5 years and four months of our lifetimes on social media.

(Source: Mediakix)

I stopped using Facebook after two years of mindless scrolling. It felt… liberating. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t want to waste my time with: what other people eat, where they are, or what they do. If I really want to know what they do, I’ll call them, or better yet – see them.

So I’m going to skip becoming a part of smartphone addiction statistics on social media level and save five years of my lifetime. I’d advise you to do the same.

You don’t have to quit your favorite social media, as I did. Maybe slowing down a bit can pay off, though.

While we are on the topic let’s see how…

Smartphone Addiction Changes Our Work Habits

smartphone addiction stats - a female hand holding a phone above a laptop

32. 84% of US working adults use their personal phones during working hours.

(Source: Deloitte)

Probably 16% of them didn’t have phones or didn’t admit to using them, because everyone I know uses their phone during working hours. Phone stats show your phone has the potential to keep you distracted. It can provide some rest (or an escape) from the work process.

US workers aren’t the only ones:

33. 75% of workers in the UK check their phones while at work.

(Source: YouGov)

34. 36% of millennials say they spend 2 or more hours per workday looking at their phones for personal activities.

(Source: Udemy)

Cell phone statistics show that companies are losing millions because of their “distracted” workforce.

35. 59% think that personal use of technology is more distracting than work tools.

(Source: Udemy)

And guess who the biggest thief of attention is? It’s really easy to guess – Facebook. The social network is the biggest distraction according to 86%.

36. “Being constantly interrupted by alerts and notifications may be contributing towards a problematic deficit of attention.”

(Source: Silence Your Phones)

37. A study observed people experiencing changes in heart rate and blood pressure.

(Source: The Extended iSelf)

The participants in this study were separated from their phones and experienced higher blood pressure and increased heart rate. Body changes like these suggest an answer to the question “are phones addictive?”

So why do people get addicted to their phones? Using smartphones for longer intervals of time makes the brain increase the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a part of the reward system in the brain. And the more rewards we receive, the more we want. Which can lead to a well-established habit.

So do you think we should do something about it? I know I do.

38. 63% of consumers try to limit their phone usage.

(Source: Deloitte)

Cell phone usage statistics show only 30% of them are successful.

39. 43% of workers turn off their phones to cope with distraction.

(Source: Udemy)

Well, at least almost half the workers have found a way to be productive.

40. 60% of 18-to 34-year-olds and nearly 40% of all consumers say they use their phones too much.

(Source: Deloitte)

The good news is that more and more people realize they need to address their smartphone issues.

How Do I Beat My Phone Addiction?

First things first – take it slow. Don’t lock your phone in a safe somewhere. It doesn’t work like that.

There are two places you can start with:

1. The Bedroom

You can buy yourself a normal alarm clock and make the bedroom a phone-free zone. You don’t actually need the phone in your bed.

2. The Table

Leave the phone away while eating or socializing with friends. That way you’ll be able to enjoy both the conversations and the meal itself. It’s refreshing to talk to people face-to-face, instead of chatting with them online. Most people don’t bite.

*fun fact – Human bites account for 0.3% of ER visits.

By now you should realize that smartphone addiction is real, and there are stats to prove it.

Here’s another tip on how to avoid it:

Turn off Your Notifications

By limiting the urge to see what’s happened, in time you will let go of the need for your phone. All you need it to do is to shut the little voice in your head, that shouts like a crazy person:

“HEY! HEEEY! HELLLOOO! Your phone’s light is blinking. Something’s happened. COME ON! HURRYY. PICK IT UUUP!”

Probably it’s only my inner voice that sounds like a hyperactive gnome on cocaine. But you get the idea.

I hope this information helps you stay out of the cell phone usage statistics.  

If you’ve read any of my other articles like “What is a cyber attack?”, or “How to create a strong password” you already know that I always “spice up” my texts with some interesting facts.

While researching the topic I stumbled upon some really…

Interesting Statistics About Smartphone Addiction

41. 75% of Americans use their mobile phones in the toilet.

(Source: Cnet)

I can relate to that. Not proud of it, but I do. I defend castles on my toilet. I have a throne, why not be a king as well?

42. 19% of them drop their phone down the toilet.

(Source: Cnet)

Been there. Done that. Had to buy a new phone. Now I’m more careful. I suggest you are too.

Smartphone addiction stats show not all smartphone users have this issue, because…

43. More people have smartphones than toilets worldwide.

(Source: TheRichest.com)

Nothing can compare to the feeling of peeing in the woods (or in a hole), while checking your email or playing a game. Priceless.

44. 20% of people would rather go without shoes for a week than take a break from their phone.

(Source: Psychology Today)

I wasn’t going to comment on that, but I can’t help myself.

Question: “What percentage of people are addicted to phones?”

Reply: “Let’s threaten their feet to find out!”

Just imagine the psychologist doing the survey: Okay now, what do you prefer? To go around barefoot for seven days or leave your phone on this table for a while?

45. 20% of people aged 18-34 have used their smartphone during sex.

(Source: TheRichest.com)

I had to research a whole new topic to be able to explain this stat. And the most common reason for grabbing the phone is… filming. Or taking a picture of the act.

Using your phone in moments like this is a sure indicator that you can get addicted to your phone.

Conclusion

In the text above we looked at nomophobia and what it looks like in our society. As always I did my best to inform you about the issue and hopefully, to help some of those who can’t live without their smartphones. More and more people consider their tech as an extension of themselves – the so-called extended self.

Most of us get anxious when our phone is not around, so it might pay off to learn to let go of it for a change. It could be good for us to go out and socialize without the addiction trigger in our pockets.

The smartphone addiction statistics I presented aren’t just numbers. They represent actual human beings and you probably recognized yourself in some of these stats. Who knows, maybe it would be a good thing to put the phone down? After all, it’s alright to allow yourself to enjoy life for a bit.

 

Sources:

  1. Trendhunter
  2. Cambridge Dictionary
  3. Kleiner Perkins
  4. BankMyCell
  5. CNet
  6. Statista
  7. DScout
  8. Psychology Today
  9. Huffington Post
  10. Deloitte
  11. Deloitte
  12. Gallup
  13. Deloitte
  14. TrustMyPaper
  15. Common Sense Media
  16. Screen Education
  17. Screen Education
  18. Common Sense Media
  19. Common Sense Media
  20. Common Sense Media
  21. Common Sense Media
  22. Screen Education
  23. Screen Education
  24. Jean M. Twenge
  25. Child Mind
  26. BankMyCell
  27. Screen Education
  28. The Guardian
  29. BankMyCell
  30. Nielsen
  31. Mediakix
  32. Deloitte
  33. YouGov
  34. Udemy
  35. Udemy
  36. Silence your phones
  37. The Extended iSelf
  38. Deloitte
  39. Udemy
  40. Deloitte
  41. CNet
  42. CNet
  43. TheRichest
  44. Psychology Today
  45. TheRichest

*fun fact

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