How Much Time Do You Spend On Your Phone?

Seriously how much? Thirty minutes? One hour? More?

Over the past five years the amount of time an individual spends on his/her phone has increased to three hours and twenty minutes a day. Three hours and twenty minutes a day! To put this into perspective that is roughly the amount of time that Americans spend working… No wonder activist investors have been pushing Apple to come up with some sort of technological helmet to keep us from pulverizing our intellect into goo with memes and cat videos. Technology is apparently too much for our impressionable minds to handle, which is why mental health and phone addiction took a large portion of the spotlight this year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference.

In September, iOS 12 will be coming out with ‘Screen Time’, an app providing users with time reporting about their phone usage, as well as allowing people to set limits on phone use. Some of the parameters users will get to manipulate include app specific, time specific and location specific limiting. It’s a lovely concept when you think about rogue vibrations rumbling the nightstand at 3am to let you know that you got a like on Tinder from someone who is never going to answer your 3am “Sup” response.

Kind of counterintuitive when you think about the fact that Apple’s main goal is to develop exciting new technological advances that make our life simpler and more interesting, which in turn cause us to use the phones more. I mean do they really want to help us free ourselves from the Instagram labyrinth or is this just a publicity stunt? Ethical leadership may be politically correct, but it clearly doesn’t help the bottom line in this situation. There is an echo of Tabaco companies putting filters cigarettes in these kinds of altruistic proclamations. In fact, the data shows that limiting phone usage through apps just doesn’t work.

Kevin Holesh, founder of “Moment”, an app that does pretty much everything Apples “Screen Time”, says that despite his apps popularity it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on usage. With five and a half million users, he has gotten a firsthand look at the jarring nature of phone addiction through the data. The average drop in usage for people using Moment: 2 minutes. 2 minutes! How is that even possible? “Limits are easy to turn off, and it doesn’t solve the underlying reason of why you’re picking up the phone or an app to begin with such as boredom or loneliness,” Mr. Holesh said.

Oh right. I forgot the main problem. Loneliness. I am lonely when nobody is around, so I go on my phone to feel connected. Oh right. I forgot. I also go on my phone when I am around lots of people that I don’t feel comfortable with so I can feel connected. Fuck. It is clear that our society is becoming more and more isolated by the technology that should make it easier and easier for us to live our lives to the fullest. What do you do when Pandora’s box fits in your pocket?


David SohmerArticles