America's Smartphone Addiction

This chart shows how often Americans use their smartphones and how they try to limit their usage.

Whenever a new year comes around, many people take the time to reflect on their habits and make New Year’s resolutions. Whether it’s drinking less, being more active or smoking fewer cigarettes, for many years, decades even, Americans’ New Year’s resolutions have looked largely the same. Over the past few years however, a new vice has arisen and that is an often unhealthy relationship with our smartphones.

Ever since the first iPhone arrived in 2007, smartphones have gradually taken over our lives. We use them to listen to music, take photos, follow the news and sometimes even to make phone calls. They have become a constant presence in both our professional and our personal lives. However, the endless stream of information and stimuli from our phones tends to wreak havoc on our ability to focus on one task at a time, which is why many people feel the need to limit their phone usage.

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2017, 47 percent of U.S. smartphone owners have made an effort to limit their phone use in the past. The most popular ways of trying to turn off are keeping the phone out of sight in a pocket and turning notifications off. The lure of Twitter, Instagram and the like remains hard to resist however: only 30 percent of smartphone owners have succeeded in reducing their phone time.

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