People of smartphones

15+ Worrying Cell Phone Addiction Statistics for 2020

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Have you ever accidentally glanced at your phone screen time statistics and been shocked by the amount of time you’ve spent on your phone all day simply just scrolling? 

Let’s face it:

You’re not alone. In fact, the latest cell phone addiction statistics illustrate an alarming problem:

We can’t seem to stay off our phones! 

Understandably, our mobile phones are extremely addictive. Cell phones have come a long way since the first iPhone revolutionized our understanding of what phones are meant to do in 2007. 

Today, we can do almost everything through our mobile phones. What used to be a luxury has become a necessity.

So, if you’re interested in understanding exactly how much time we’re spending on our phones and what the implications are, these stats on technology addiction and cell phone usage facts will really make you think. 

Let’s dive right in.

Alarming Cell Phone Addiction Facts (Editor’s Picks)

  • Americans check their mobile phones 47 times a day.
  • By 2023, there will be 7.33 billion people with mobile phones.
  • 66% of the world population suffers from Nomophobia.
  • In 2018, 54% of American teens spent too much time on their phones.
  • 36% of US adults reported that they spend too much time on their cell phones in 2018.
  • 87% of mobile phone users check their phones between 12 am and 5 am.
  • 71% of mobile phone users sleep next to their phones.

General Smartphone Addiction Statistics

1. The current smartphone statistics trajectory suggests that by 2023, there will be 7.33 billion people with mobile phones.

(Statista)

This figure shows a steady increase from the 2020 estimate of 6.95 billion, up from 6.8 billion in 2019.

What’s more:

According to a shocking discovery by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU), we possibly have more cell phones in the world than people! However, there are still several populations around the world who do not have access to electricity or the internet. 

2. 66% of the world population suffers from Nomophobia, phone addiction statistics reveal.

(Trend Hunter)

The term Nomophobia was first coined in 2008. It’s a portmanteau of the phrase “no-mobile-phone phobia.” And as it turns out, a full two-thirds of the entire global population seems to suffer from this 21st-century phobia. 

What’s worse:

The percentage of people addicted to cellphones is growing rapidly each year. This disease also seems to plague women more severely as compared to men. It also affects the younger generation of 18-to-24-year-olds more than it does older generations.

3. 2 hours and 51 minutes was the average time mobile users in the US spent on their smartphones in 2016.

(ComScore)

Comscore’s cell phone addiction statistics reveal the time users spent on mobile phones averaged almost three hours per day. And the figure has continued to climb steadily since then. 

4. 45% of children aged 10 to 12 in the US have a smartphone.

(Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

Cell phone addiction facts from 2017 in the US illustrate a possibly serious problem moving forward. Namely, almost half of 10-to-12-year-olds in the US own a smartphone. 

If left unsupervised, children who begin using mobile phones at a young age might develop negative behaviors that stem from mobile phone addiction. 

On top of that, the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25. So, children who become dependent on mobile phones from a young age might experience negative alterations in brain development and other cognitive disorders.

5. 95% of teenagers in the US have access to a smartphone, and half of them are almost constantly online according to mobile phone statistics.

(Pew Research)

The technology landscape for teenagers is constantly changing. A few years ago, Facebook dominated social media,  but recent studies have shown that Facebook usage has gone down to 51%

Instead, teens now have even more options to choose from, such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

6. Smartphone addiction statistics from 2018 in the US showed that 54% of teens spend too much time on their phones.

(Pew Research)

According to a study by Pew Research Center, more than half of teens aged 13 to 17 reported spending too much time on their cell phones. 

Teenage cell phone use statistics also show that 72% of teenagers reported checking their phones as soon as they wake up, and 40% claimed they feel anxious when they realize they don’t have their mobile phones on them. 

Additionally, another 56% said they feel lonely, upset, or anxious when their cell phones are not at reach.

cell phone addiction statistics

7. Adults in the US are also addicted to their mobile phones, with 36% reporting that they spend too much time on their cell phones in 2018.

(Pew Research)

Statistics on cell phone use in the US reveals that cell phone addiction affects everyone, including more than one-third of adults in 2018. The study also revealed that 15% of parents claim that cell phone usage affects their focus at work. 

And that’s not all:

51% of teens from the study reported that they sometimes experience conversational problems with parents or caregivers due to them being distracted from their mobile phones.

8. Americans check their mobile phones 47 times a day.

(WVLT)

Americans check their phones many times a day, also while doing other activities like walking, socializing with friends and family, and even crossing the street. 

In fact, almost half (44%) of them are looking at their phones while crossing the street. And an alarming 85% check their phones even while having conversations with friends and family, technology addiction statistics confirm. 

Furthermore, 54% of users claim to use their phones during meetings, 81% in restaurants, and 89% while watching TV. More alarmingly, 59% of mobile phone users in the US use their phones while driving.

9. There are one million new internet users each day.

(Data Reportal)

Internet usage is increasing rapidly all over the world. From 2018 onwards, the number of new daily internet users has been increasing by one million each day. In 2019, the world had a total of 4.39 billion internet users, which is a 366 million increase from 2018

Along with this, smartphone stats also showed that more people are using mobile phones to access the internet, as the percentage of mobile internet access has spiked from 26% in 2014 to 48% in 2019. The largest spike was recorded between 2017 and 2018 at 16%.

10. 96% of adults in the UK used mobile phones in 2018.

(Statista)

According to cell phone usage statistics in the UK, there has been a 14% increase in the number of adults using mobile phones between 2005 to 2018. As a matter of fact, 2018 saw the nation’s highest percentage of adult cell phone use statistics, with 96%. This was an increase from 94% in 2017.

11. 2,617 is the average number of daily interactions between mobile phone users and their mobile phones.

(Dscout)

In an effort to study and compute stats on how often people use their phones, a 2016 study showed that phone users swiped, tapped, or clicked an average of 2,617 times per day. 

But that’s not all:

Heavier users who make up the top 10% average at an alarming 5,427 touches in a single day, cell phone facts and statistics tell us! In terms of phone screen time, the average user spends 145 minutes on their mobile phones, while the more frequent users spend 225 average daily minutes. 

Which category are you in?

12.  87% of mobile phone users check their phones between 12 am and 5 am.

(Dscout)

Dscout’s survey on smartphone use statistics indicates that 7 am is when mobile phone usage peaks daily and activity goes on until dinner time. This peak is due to most users waking up to start their day. 

And the first thing they do? 

Check their phones. It’s only around dinner time when activity begins to slow down, which could be due to users turning to other devices like TVs or computers. Nevertheless, 11% of users still have activity up till 3 am, while 87% will check their phones at least once between 12 am and 5 am.

13. 71% of mobile phone users sleep next to their phones.

(Huff Post)

A survey of 1,000 participants aged 18 and above studied smartphone addiction. The result found that seven in ten people usually sleep with their mobile phones close to them. 

Now:

In more severe cases of nomophobia, 3% of respondents said they have their devices in hand when they go to bed. 13% said they have their mobile phones in bed, while 55% leave them on the nightstand. 

According to mobile phone usage statistics from the same study, one in four participants claimed that they have fallen asleep while using their smartphones at least once. Meanwhile, 35% said the first thing they reach for when they wake up is their smartphone.

14.  54% of Brazillian adults own a smartphone.

(Pag Brasil)

Smartphone usage stats in Brazil reveal that slightly more than half of adults own a smartphone. In numbers, this translates to 84 million people, which means Brazil comes in fifth place in the global smartphone usage rate. 

However, it’s common for one Brazillian family to share a single device, which is usually their main source of internet. So, around 60% of people who use the internet in Brazil do so on their smartphones.

15. 90% of the time mobile users spend on their phones is spent on apps.

(Smart Insights)

Phone usage statistics from different countries from the US to Malaysia reveal that 80% to 90% of time was spent on mobile apps in 2018.  Mobile app usage has had a 6% average year over year growth in 2017

From what we can see, app activity is diversified across all types of apps including mobile shopping, music, media and entertainment, business and finance, utilities, and productivity, etc.

16. According to cell phone stats, between 2010 and 2015, suicide rates in teen girls have increased by 65%, with studies revealing a link to increased smartphone usage.

(Science Daily)

With so many teens having access to mobile phones at an increasingly young age and minimal supervision, it’s no wonder they suffer from being bullied by false beauty standards that exist on their screens. 

Moreover, mobile phone addiction also promotes loneliness and depression, causing teens to feel like they do not have anyone to turn to when they have suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms of Nomophobia

If you know anyone experiencing these symptoms, especially younger people, you should take immediate steps in monitoring their behavior and deciding whether or not to take measures in controlling their cell phone usage.

  • Panics when they can’t find their cell phones
  • Panics when there is no service available
  • Anxiety when phone battery is low
  • Spends more time online than in real life
  • Sleeps with their mobile phone
  • Uses their mobile phones in dangerous situations like driving or crossing the road
  • Uses their mobile phones more during social gatherings rather than talking to real people
  • Feeling that their mobile phone has vibrated or rung when it hasn’t

Final Words

As the latest cell phone addiction statistics make abundantly clear, this is a serious problem that affects everyone, no matter the country or age group.

Especially today, when we can do more and more things on our mobile phones, it creates some form of dependency. 

So it’s up to us to realize the problem and stop it before it goes out of hand.

FAQ

Q: What percentage of people are addicted to phones?

Nomophobia statistics show that 66% fear being left without their phones. This is identical to the number of people addicted to mobile phones, indicating that Nomophobia is a strong indicator of mobile phone addiction.

Q: How many people are addicted to mobile phones?

Cell phone statistics show that 66% of people that own smartphones are addicted to their mobile phones. This translates to two in every three people, a very large number that comes as no surprise. Most apps you use throughout the day are deliberately designed to draw your attention and hook you on instant gratifications, such as likes and follows.

Q: How bad is cell phone addiction? 

Cell phone addiction is bad because it causes us to neglect certain aspects of our reality. For example, most people turn to cell phones for entertainment or to cure boredom, loneliness, and depression. The internet gives us instant gratification, which makes us feel less alone and less sad for a couple of minutes. 

However, in the long run, this addiction can cause us to move further away from reality, which means further away from real human interactions. Ultimately, this will worsen the feeling of loneliness and depression.

On top of that, cell phone addiction also causes physical harm from us staring at our screens all day and into the late hours of the night. Blue light emission from mobile phones is a contributor to eye problems that can also lead to insomnia and other health complications.

Q: What are the signs of cell phone addiction?

To find out if you or anyone around you is suffering from cell phone addiction, there are a few key symptoms you can look out for. Cell phone addiction causes us to be distracted by our daily tasks. If you are addicted, chances are you are touching your phone more times a day than completing your tasks and chores.

Some of the key symptoms you should look out for are:

  • Signs of withdrawal from friends and family
  • Failure in adhering to cut down mobile phone use
  • No sense of time when using mobile phones
  • Eye complications such as eye strain and soreness
  • Insomnia

There are also some less physical symptoms that are an indicator of cell phone addiction. Do you become restless if you are without your phone for a certain period of time? Are you constantly worried about people being able to reach you? Do you sometimes imagine the feeling of your phone vibrating despite nothing happening?

All of these signs show that you have probably become a little bit too attached to your little miracle machine. Luckily, the cell phone addiction statistics we examined today will be your wake up call.

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