Give Yourself Peace this Holiday ~ Dial Down Your Smartphone Usage!

How much time do you use your smartphone in one day?

Pause and take a guess. See how you compare with the findings below.

No matter what you guessed, I think this new research by will astound you.


The test sample was 23 people ages 18 to 33. Unlike usual self-report studies, the authors, Andrews et al., published in the journal, PLOS ONE, reported actual smartphone use. An app was added to their smartphone to record the exact usage.

The first statistic might blow you away. The average phone time usage you guessed is in reality probably twice as much as you thought.

The young people used their smartphones on average about FIVE hours a day. Yes, you read that right. Five hours a day! As I read the research I thought, “When are they living, working, going to school, or talking to their friends and family in person?” This means about one-third of their awake lives are dedicated to smartphone perusal.

Now guess this one. What was the average time spent focusing on their smartphones each time they checked? Most were quick peeks lasting for as little as 30″. For those quick peekers, I can feel a neck-ache coming on. I imagine some of them looking down 2.040 times in one 17-hours-awake day! Gosh knows how many times they wake up gaze at their smartphones.

What were they doing?

The were checking their email, listening to music, watching for social media alerts, and ascertaining the time.

I think of texting and envision orthopedic surgeons specializing in thumb/index finger disabilities. Maybe they already do!

Take another guess. Unlike the quick-peekers I teased about, How many times do you think they checked their phones in a day? In 24 hours, they checked their phones 85 times! Talk about conditioning and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)! I muse, “Missing out on what?”


I am fascinated.

Are they curious? Feel Competitive? Want to stay on top of the social news? The psychologist in me wants to ask them. Or are most of them addicted to instant gratification?

For those of my age, mid 60’s, I wonder if intimacy is a thing of the past. Is looking your beloved ones in the eyes and savoring the moment a lost art? I smile, naughty me, and wonder how often folks sneak a peek at their smartphones or tablets while making love. Addiction knows no bounds. I need to ask my kids about this!

Want more info? Andrews et al, 2015, gifts you detailed graphs. Yes, you can use your smartphone to retrieve it!


Why not be kind to yourself this holiday season. Give yourself peace. Let your fingers rest, too, Or your lips, if you are dictating your texts. Give Skype and Face Time a pass, too, unless all your loved ones live far away. Gift yourself with a real live face-to-face conversation. Give Siri a deserved break from hearing you ask her questions, too. I can feel her smiles of appreciation now!

May your holiday season be filled with real-life hugs of love and times to savor special moments. Take a moment to reflect on lovely moments of past wonderful holiday memories. Positive reminiscing is powerful. Nothing like opening your mind to past holiday fun with gratitude in your heart. I think of my beloved Mom and thank God for the joys she brought to me and our family.

From my desk to yours this holiday season, may peace, joy, and hope fill your heart. Happy New Year, too!