The New Normal: Phone Use is Up Nearly 4-Fold Since 2019

Political News

New Research Shows Our Smartphone Use Has Skyrocketed to 352 Times Per Day

Mask mandates may be lifting, but some of our pandemic-fueled habits are here to stay, including our “new normal” for screen time. In fact, even with the return of travel and in-person gatherings, most Americans can’t seem to put their phones down and are reaching for their device an average of 352 times a day – once every two minutes and 43 seconds – according to new research by tech care company Asurion1. Whether we’re sending text messages, capturing content or bringing up digital vaccination cards, it’s a nearly 4-fold increase from a similar survey conducted by Asurion before the pandemic in 2019, when Americans said they checked their phones 96 times a day2.

“From video chatting with loved ones to conducting contactless payments, mobile banking and even bringing up menus at restaurants, the pandemic has certainly put our smartphones at the center of it all,” says Anitha Somanahally, Asurion Senior Director, Research and Insights. “Our phones have become such a huge part of our day that when they break, getting them fixed or replaced becomes an urgent priority. No one knows this better than our Asurion Experts, who help panicked customers repair their much-needed devices every day – often within a few hours.”

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Asurion surveyed 1,965 U.S. adults to learn that three-quarters of Americans consider their phone a “necessity,” rather than a “luxury.” In fact, 1 in 5 of us is unwilling to go without our smartphone for more than “a few hours,” and three-quarters of us are so attached to our devices that we take them into the bathroom. The main reason we’re not ready to put down our devices? We want to stay in touch with family and friends, both near and far. While the pandemic and social distancing drove us apart physically, 86% of Americans say they primarily reach for their phones to keep in touch with family and friends by calling, texting, chatting on social media or emailing. Taking photos and video was the second biggest driver of phone use (61%), followed by mobile banking (46%), mobile gaming (40%) and online shopping (31%).

What’s interesting is that even more Baby Boomers (75%) and Gen Xers (76%) consider their phones to be a necessity than the “techy” Gen Zers (71%) or Millennials (68%). The devices are so essential that 60% of Americans say they could go no more than a day without their phone if it were damaged so badly that they couldn’t use it. And for parents, the urgency of having a working phone is even higher: 67% of parents said they’d need a working device within a day or sooner if theirs was lost, damaged or stolen.

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