PHONE-addicted Aussies are spending up to six hours a day glued to their devices amid concern quality time with loved ones is being compromised.
Research shows some users unlock their devices an astounding 216 times a day – once every three minutes over a 12-hour period.
The average Australian spends nearly 2½ hours a day on their phone. Women aged 56-65 were the worst offenders.
The figures – from smartphone usage tracker AntiSocial – show Australia’s phone addiction ranks among the highest worldwide. Only Russia, the UK and US were worse.
Chris Eade, from tech firm Bugbean, which developed AntiSocial, said most phone users tended to underestimate their usage and were shocked to learn the reality.
“It’s crazy to see how much time we spend and what we do on our phones,” Mr Eade said.
The statistics – based on the phone usage of more than 130,000 AntiSocial users over two years – point to a worrying pattern of compulsive checking and social media use.
Australians launch mobile apps an average 101 times a day. Those aged 18-25 average 118.
Social media apps take up most user’s phone time, with Facebook accounting for 20 per cent of total “in app” time.
University of Wollongong internet addiction expert Prof Katina Michael said tech companies were engineering apps to be as addictive as possible.
“They are literally hacking the brain – the content is turning to brainwashing,” she said.
But University of Adelaide behavioural expert Daniel King said addiction was not black and white. “It’s not obvious that just using your phone is addictive,” he said. For those who think they have a problem, Mr Eade recommends leaving the phone off for the first and last 30 minutes of the day and tracking usage.
Citation: Peter Bateman, April 8, 2018, "Aussies are hung up on phones", The Advertiser, p. 7.