Please. It’s Just A Phone. Read These Crazy Smartphone Addiction Stats

mobile addiction bank of america
Written by David Michaelis

New data from a Bank of America report shows that Americans have a mobile addiction. We just can’t live without ’em. David Michaelis commentary.

aNewDomain — According to a new report by Bank of America on mobile phone use, millions of Americans are in the violent throes of full blown smartphone addiction. Really.

Consider: 16 percent of Americans actually put their smartphone in bed with them, says one particularly disturbing statistic in the second annual Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility report. If you’re doing that, please quit it. It’s just weird. Find other bizzaro smartphone stats in the infographic below.

Please. It is Just. A. Phone.

always on bofa poll

How addicted are you?

Fully 89 percent of Americans check their smartphones “at least a few times a day.” That’s extreme, but listen to this: 36 percent admit they’re “constantly checking and using” their phones. For younger millennial adults aged 18 to 24, that stat rises to more than half of respondents. If that’s you or someone you love, watch a parody rap video I suggest to gain some perspective. It’s called: “Won’t you please put the phone down?”

always on age stats bofa

Some GenXers are more depraved than Millenials.

Of the more than 1-in-10 (11 percent) respondents who said they would last less than an hour without their smartphone, more than half (52 percent) check their phone at least every five to 10 minutes. Around a third (31 percent) check their device every 15 to 30 minutes, while 17 percent checked less often.

Interestingly, respondents that fell into the Generation X bracket (35- to 52-year-olds) appear to be more dependent on their smartphones than older Millennials (25- to 34-year-olds). The latter group was more likely to claim they could spend 24 hours without their phone, according to the survey.

always on how long can you last without your smartphone

You need another hit, admit it.

You never know when we’ll get that satisfying email about a shipped purchase, or a second date or whatever, so you keep checking, over and over again, waiting for the euphoria to come.

At the bottom of smartphone addiction, psychoanalysts say, is award-seeking behavior. The smartphone is a low impact way to claim those rewards from the real world. But it means many of us are just on them too much, to our peril.

Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains writes about our brain and its ability to think deeply and concentrate fully. He doesn’t own a smartphone, which perhaps itself sounds a bit extreme. But he still is able to go on. At any rate, he says:

One thing my research made clear is that human beings have a deep, primitive desire to know everything that’s going on around them. That instinct probably helped us survive when we were cavemen and cavewomen.”

There are a number of reasons we’re addicted to mobile devices, and Carr’s reasoning sounds spot on, doesn’t it? Just keep saying to yourself, “It’s just a phone. It’s just a phone.” Then go out and get a life : )

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Cover image: Smartphone close up by via Flickr, All Rights Reserved.

All screenshots: David Michaelis, courtesy Bank of America.