The average smartphone owner in the United States spends 5 hours per day on her device. Take a second to think about your own behavior. Do you think you’re above or below the average? The good news is you have all the data you need to figure that out already at your fingertips hidden within your phone’s battery settings (see step-by-step instructions left). We all know that the first step to solving any problem is being aware of the problem in the first place, right? Why not make one of those daily visits to your phone a visit to your usage stats instead. This is the first step towards living offline!
We’ve done this exercise with many groups of people - everyone from strangers at the mall to a class of high school girls - and nearly every person underestimates their usage. One high schooler spent 13 hours over the past 7 days on Snapchat. One parent: almost 4 hours staring at his screen yesterday. It’s not uncommon for people of all ages to have the actual “Phone” function of their smartphone show up at the bottom of the app list. You can start tracking your time just like you would count steps on a Fitbit.
The iPhone actually provides the most robust statistics. Not only can you check the amount of screen time since your phone’s last full charge, but you can break it down per app and per week in number of minutes or by percentage of battery used. We guarantee you will find something surprising. Android users might have to settle for total screen time, depending on which hardware manufacturer they’re using. Either way, it’s good to have some quantitative methods to measure your offline progress.
Ask yourself: what could I be doing with an extra X minutes in my day? Hours per week? Make it a habit to write down your daily screen usage and see if you can bring the number down. Every minute counts!
Leave us a comment with any stats you found surprising and what you’d like to change.