Do people sleep without their mobile phones anymore? Do you feel naked when you leave home without it? And most importantly, do we actually know how much time we spend on our phones?

There has been a lot of research on the subject, and according to an article on CNN, the average teenager in the United States spends 9 hours a day using media for their enjoyment. This means that they are spending more time on their devices than they do in bed, sleeping. 

This article also stated that tweens, identified as children 8 to 12, spend about six hours, on average consuming media, mostly consisting of playing games and surfing on the Internet.

We looked at the statistics for adults, too. According to comScore’s 2017 Cross Platform Future in Focus report, the average American adult (18+) spends 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphones every day. As we can see, it is less than teenagers, but still a large amount of time.

Here is a graph that shows the total minutes spent on mobile phones:

Image Source: CNN

After seeing the enormous time that we spend on our mobile phones, we wanted to look at what we are actually doing during this time.

A study by Nielsen shows that we spend an average of 5.3% of our time emailing and 13.4% of our time texting. An article on socialmediatoday.com says that, “Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media every day, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime.”

The article also states that time spent on social media differs across each platform. YouTube comes in first, consuming over 40 minutes of a person’s day (i.e. 1 year and 10 months in a lifetime). Facebook users will spend an average of 35 minutes a day, totaling 1 year and 7 months in a lifetime (some statistics include Facebook, Facebook-owned Instagram, and Facebook Messenger for total time spent on Facebook). Snapchat and Instagram come in next with 25 minutes and 15 minutes spent per day, respectively. Finally, users will spend 1 minute on Twitter, spanning 18 days of usage in a lifetime.

We wanted to ask AISB Director, Dr. Brindley, what he thinks about all this, and what was behind his decision to ban cell phones on campus. Here’s what he had to say: 

As with all sophisticated electronic devices, we must learn to control their usage rather than allow the device itself to rule our lives and behaviors. Smart phones are such devices. The devices themselves are incredibly sophisticated; unfortunately their use as a social media tool is designed to be highly controlling and manipulative. Facebook is faceless; social media software is often antisocial; Twitter is exactly that – twitter; Snapchat is just chatter; and so on. If you read the conclusions from current research on the outcomes of excessive smart-phone usage, you would note, negative sleep patterns, increase in depression and teenage suicide, discomfort in conversing face-to-face and other highly harmful outcomes. However, these are just my thoughts on the matter; I suggest that students read the actual research for themselves and come to their own conclusions.”

So there you have it. We did most of the research for you; now make your own decision! 🙂

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