Dying for Our Screens

When is the last time you shut off your phone and left it in another room entirely — for any significant length of time?

We spent 10 hours, 39 minutes each day with smartphones, tablets, TV, radio, computers, and video games during the first three months of 2016.

Thought so.

Just when we thought we couldn’t spend one more minute in front of a screen each day, we’ve apparently found another hour to kill. Or two. Or three.

A Nielsen study this week shows that on average, we spent 10 hours and 39 minutes each day with our smartphones, tablets, TV, radio, computers and video games in the first three months of 2016. Time on our smartphones accounts for most of the increase.

Yet Nielsen said those hours are most likely underestimated, as the survey doesn’t take into account the time we spend texting, taking selfies, or talking on the phone.

Nearly 81 percent of American adults are using their smartphones regularly, with the number of users growing by more than 20 million in the past year, according to Nielsen’s senior vice president for audience insights, Glenn Enoch.

Regardless, last year we were only glued to our electronics for an average of 9 hours, 39 minutes a day.

Related: Texting at Movie Screenings? Hmm …

More time on our phones doesn’t mean we’re using less of other media, either, which Nielsen attributes to an increase in multitasking. On average, we’re only spending three fewer minutes a day watching television than we did a year ago — we still spend four hours a day in front of the TV, according to the research.

People ages 18 to 34 are likely to spend more time each day online than they do watching live television. The bigger difference was seen in those over 50 — that age group prefers TV by a margin of 53 to 21 percent.

Nielsen also noted that for the first time, as many American homes subscribe to video services like Netflix or Hulu as there are homes with digital video recorders. Radio and TV continue to reach the most users, however — and smartphones have the largest reach.

Last Modified: July 1, 2016, 7:35 am

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