Komorebi Post- Feeling disconnected from humanity? Your smartphone may be the reason. A study conducted by dscout determined that Android users touch their smartphones 2,617 times a day. That is 2,617 times we are disconnecting from the real world to connect with a virtual, technology driven one.
This averages out to about 2 hours and 42 minutes of active screen time for the average user. For heavy smartphone users, the average number of swipes, clicks, and phone interactions was 5,427 times a day. For heavy phone users, this averages out to about 3 hours and 75 minutes a day.
Is this research surprising?
Not really. We frequently hear people talk about how they feel tied to their devices. Our smartphones are now a part of our everyday lives. Apps track our fitness, heat our homes, map out our daily commutes, wake us for the day, and even assist us with our banking needs. Our phones have become much more than a device to communicate with loved ones.
It has been 11 years since Apple released the first iPhone. Since then, smartphones have crept into our lives as the number one tool to manage them. Apple confirmed in 2016 that their users unlock their phones 80 times day; about 6 to 7 times an hour.
While the amount of time we spend on, or interacting, with our smartphones is excessive, what was most surprising about dscout’s study was how infrequently we use our phones to interact with others.
The app that took up the majority of our screen time was reported to be Facebook. And while we might be able to argue that we are interacting with others through this social media app, with the rise in popularity of sharing videos, memes, and pictures from other media sources, we have reduced the level of authentic communication and sharing of our personal lives on one of the most frequently visited platforms.
The reality is that more and more we are using the main function of our phones less and less and opting for our favorite apps instead.
How do we disconnect from our devices to connect with our loved ones more?
- Opt for an in person hang out over a quick text. The focus you give to one person rather than the disjointed, distracted quick text will deepen your relationship with the people that matter most to you. If you really feel like you do not have the time or geographical means to meet in person, then set up a Skype or Zoom session with coffee in your kitchen or opt for a phone call. Both require focus and emotional interaction while using our devices.
- Put your phone in airplane mode when at home. Airplane mode stops the constant dinging of your app notifications nagging at you to check them, but keeps things like your alarm clock intact and working normally. You can rest your mind knowing you won’t miss out on the important things, but comfortably put your phone away to connect with your family and friends while with them in person.
- Choose experiences over your “what’s next” cue on Netflix. There are so many voucher and coupon programs for businesses that are desperate for you to enjoy all they have to offer. Purchase a local or global experience through GroupOn, Living Social, or even Jack’s Flight Club. You can find experiences that won’t break your budget, but fill your camera with memories instead of selfies with dog- eared filters. Book for two or your whole crew and experience something new together.