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57+ Incredible Smartphone Addiction Statistics for 2022

by Josh Howarth
July 29, 2022

Are you a smartphone addict?

Do you reach for your phone first thing in the morning? Feel waves of anxiety when you see a “low battery” notification?

If you answered “yes” to these, you might be one of the billions of smartphone addicts in the world today.

While smartphone addiction may not have the capability to destroy lives like drugs or gambling, it does have real-life consequences.

It can harm your productivity, put a strain on your romantic relationships, and create deadly distractions on the road.

But what does smartphone addiction look like from a numbers perspective?

Read these smartphone addiction stats to find out.

Contents

Top Smartphone Addiction Stats

Before getting into the full list, here are some of the more eye-opening smartphone addiction stats to get you started:

  • 47% of Americans admit they’re addicted to their phones.
  • The average American checks their smartphone 352 times per day.
  • 71% of people spend more time on their phone than with their romantic partner.
  • Almost two-thirds of children spend four hours or more per day on their smartphones.
  • 44% of American adults admit that not having their phones gives them anxiety.
  • Cell phones cause over 20% of car accidents.

General Smartphone Addiction Stats

The amount of time people spend per day and frequency of use are key indicators of smartphone addiction. How much time do people spend on their smartphones? How many times per day do they use them? Here are the answers to those (and more) questions.

47% of Americans admit they’re addicted to their phones (Reviews)

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That’s just the number who admit to having an addiction. 45% consider their smartphone their most valuable possession. And 64% bring their phones to the toilet. How many are truly addicted to their phones? We may never know for sure.

The average American checks their smartphone 352 times per day (Asurion)

Americans look at their screens once every two minutes and 43 seconds, according to a recent survey by Asurion. New habits formed during the pandemic could be behind those numbers. A 2019 survey revealed the average American checked their smartphones just 96 times per day.

85% of Americans own a smartphone (Pew Research)

Pew Research first started tracking smartphone ownership in 2011. Back then, 35% of Americans owned a smartphone. Today, that number has skyrocketed. For Americans under 50, smartphone ownership is over 95%.

The average user spends two hours and 51 minutes per day on their smartphone (Bank My Cell)

When taking tablets into consideration, average screen time jumps up to four hours and 33 minutes per day. In a single day, the average smartphone user clicks, swipes or taps 2,617 times.

57% of people spend five or more hours per day on their phone (Sell Cell)

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Bank Cell asked over 2,000 respondents how many hours they spent per day on their phones for non-work activities. Only 5% said an hour or less, while 46% said between five and six hours. 11% spent more than six hours per day on their smartphone.

Silencing smartphones actually increases use (Science Direct)

Smartphones can be distracting. For many, the solution is obvious—silence or turn off notifications. But according to a Penn State study, silencing smartphones leads to more frequent phone-checking, especially in people with high FoMo (fear of missing out).

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Google searches for “fomo” over the past 5 years.

31% of American adults say they’re “constantly online” (Pew Research)

85% of Americans go online on a daily basis. Over half of those—48%—go online several times per day. But three-in-ten Americans say that they’re always online. The age 18-29 demographic is the most prolific, with 48% admitting to spending all day online.

Many Americans rely on their smartphones for internet access (Pew Research)

15% of US adults don’t have broadband internet at home. Instead, they use their smartphones for internet access. That “smartphone dependency” exceeds 25% for 18-29-year-olds, Hispanic Americans, and people earning $30,000 or less per year.

53% of Americans say they haven’t gone longer than 24 hours without their phone (Reviews)

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Could you handle a day without your smartphone? Fear of being without your smartphone is a real thing. It’s even been given a new word: nomophobia (no mobile phone phobia). Just the thought of their phone dying can cause psychological harm. 48% of people report feelings of fear or anxiety when their phone’s battery gets below 20%.

87% of smartphone users check their phones less than an hour before going to bed (Bank My Cell)

That’s up 7% from just three years ago. On top of that, 69% of Americans check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up.

55% of British smartphone users can’t make it through dinner without looking at their phone (YouGov)

Dinner is traditionally a time for family and friends to connect with one another (face-to-face) over a meal. YouGov UK’s recent survey paints a different picture. Over half of UK adults check their phones during dinner, whether at home or at a restaurant. As for setting an example for the kids, forget about it. 62% of British parents admit to using their smartphones at the dinner table.

Smartphone Addiction and Relationships

Can smartphone addiction damage a relationship? For millions, putting down their phones to pay attention to their partner is a real struggle. Here’s how smartphone addiction affects romantic relationships.

46% of Americans say they’ve been phubbed by their partner (Baylor)

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What’s phubbing? It’s a portmanteau for “phone snubbing,” and it’s wreaking havoc on romantic relationships. Almost half of adults say they’ve been phubbed by their significant others. 23% say phubbing has caused conflict in their relationship.

71% of people spend more time on their phone than with their romantic partner (Sell Cell)

That’s right, almost three-quarters of people in romantic relationships dedicate more time to their phone than their partners. 52% say they spend three to four hours more with their phone than with their partner.

12% of smartphone users have interrupted intimacy to check their phone (Sell Cell)

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Smartphone addiction can affect all areas of life—even romance. One in ten users admit to checking their phones during intimate moments with their partners. That might be a reason why 18% of users in a relationship have established “no phone zones,” or areas of the house where smartphones are off-limits.

Most people would rather spend time on their phone than with their partner (Sell Cell)

When asked if they’d rather spend time on their phone or with their partner, 54% chose their smartphones. 30% of people say they’ve texted their partner when they were both at home.

Childhood Smartphone Addiction

For many, smartphone addiction starts during childhood. Kids are getting their first smartphones earlier and spending more time on them than they were just a few years ago. Here are the most recent childhood smartphone addiction statistics.

56% of children and adolescents use their smartphones after midnight at least three times per week (Italian Journal of Pediatrics)

In a study of 184 Italians aged 6-18, researchers found that over half frequently used their phones after midnight. Before the pandemic, only 30% of the study group used their phones after midnight three or more times per week.

Almost two-thirds of children spend four hours or more per day on their smartphones (Italian Journal of Pediatrics)

In the same study, researchers found that 66.4% of participants spent four or more hours per day on their phones.

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Before the pandemic, that number was just 16.3%.

The majority of American children own a smartphone by age 11 (Common Sense Media)

An increase in ownership could be behind the rise of smartphone addiction in kids. In 2015, just one-third of kids owned a smartphone by age 11. In 2019, that amount increased to 53%. 91% of Americans own a smartphone by their 18th birthday.

Lower-income children spend more time looking at screens (Common Sense Media)

In families that make less than $35,000 per year, tweens (8-12-year-olds) spend an average of five hours and 49 minutes per day consuming screen media. For families that earn over $100,000, that screen time drops to three hours and 59 minutes.

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Google searches for “screen time” over the past 5 years.

American teenagers send an average of 39 texts per day (Common Sense Media)

Kids are spending more time on their phones and getting them at an earlier age. But they’re actually texting less than they were in the recent past. In 2015, teens sent an average of 55 texts per day.

72% of parents feel their teenagers are distracted by smartphones during in-person conversations (Pew Research)

The feeling cuts both ways, as 51% of teenagers actually say their parents are distracted by their smartphones. Interestingly, parents are more likely to be distracted by their phones at work (39%) than teenagers are to be distracted at school (31%).

Dangers of Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone addiction has some serious side effects. It can cause mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Safety hazards—like traffic accidents—are more of a risk when smartphones are involved.

44% of American adults admit that not having their phones gives them anxiety (YouGov)

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YouGov’s recent poll shows just how attached Americans are to their smartphones. Out of 1150 respondents, 18%—nearly one in six—strongly agreed with the statement “not having my phone with me makes me feel anxious.”

42% of American adults say they waste too much time on their smartphones (YouGov)

Having the world at your fingertips isn’t always a good thing. Today’s most popular smartphone apps are designed to keep users hooked and scrolling away—sometimes for hours on end.

30% of Americans say they’d be more productive without their smartphones (YouGov)

Smartphones can help us get more done. They can also be productivity killers. While three in ten Americans say their phones affect productivity, 37% say that smartphones don’t stop them from getting things done. Productivity apps like Forest use gamification to battle smartphone addiction and curb screen time.

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Google searches for “forest app” over the past 5 years.

People with smartphone addiction have worse sleep quality than those without (Frontiers)

Poor sleep quality affects billions of people, but smartphone addicts are even more susceptible. In a UK study, 69% of smartphone addicts had poor sleep quality compared to 57% of non-addicted participants.

Smartphone addiction correlates with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues (Ariel University)

In a 2021 Ariel University study of 84 research papers, researchers found several negative cognitive effects of smartphone addiction, including difficulties in emotional regulation, impulsivity, shyness, and low self-esteem. Subjects with smartphone addiction had comorbidities with mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD and alcohol use disorder.

Cell phones cause over 20% of car accidents (National Safety Council)

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Texting and driving has been an issue since texting was invented. The National Safety Council put some hard numbers to the issue in their 2010 white paper. That year, 1.1 million car crashes in 2010 were caused by cell phone use. Around 160,000 of those accidents were because of texting.

Wrap Up

Smartphones are incredible devices. When used properly, they enable us to get important things done and help us stay connected to the world.

But there’s a dark side to smartphones. The more we use them, the more they become extensions of ourselves. And when we’re constantly glued to our screens, we put our work, relationships, and mental health in jeopardy.

If you think you might be addicted to your phone, remember this: they’re addictive by design. Give yourself some phone-free time each day. Designate no-phone zones in your home. Take a morning walk instead of a morning TikTok.

Smartphones aren’t going away, and they’re not going to get less addictive. But we can make an effort to balance our phone use with the most important things in our lives.