The number of Americans who believe they’re using their smartphones too much has increased by about 20 percentage points from seven years ago, according to a new poll from Gallup.
On Monday, the polling company released(Opens in a new window) the results of a recent survey that found 58% of Americans say they use their smartphone “too much.” That’s up from 39% when Gallup conducted(Opens in a new window) a similar poll back in 2015.
Excessive smartphone use is particularly high for the younger generation: 81% for Americans between the ages of 18 to 29, an increase from 58% from 2015.
Americans between the ages of 30 to 49 were not far behind. Seventy-four percent of them also said they were guilty of using their smartphones too much, which is up from 48%.
The percentages then drop for the older Americans, many of whom are retired. Nevertheless, the poll shows more adults over the age of 50 are also showing an increase in excessive smartphone use from 2015.
“Americans, it seems, are increasingly being outsmarted by their own phones,” the Gallup concluded. “However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they feel the need to resist its charms, as the vast majority think their smartphone has made their life better.”
According to Gallup, the poll found 21% of the respondents said their smartphones had made their lives “a lot better” while another 44% said the devices had made their lives “a little better.”
Only about 12% said the smartphone had made their lives worse to a certain degree, although this is double the percentage amount from 2015. In addition, half of the respondents agreed they couldn’t imagine their lives without their smartphones. Sixty-four percent also said they check their smartphone as soon as they wake up in the morning.
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The survey goes on to point out the smartphone has often become the preferred way Americans perform daily tasks such as online shopping and to browse the internet. Hence, the phone has become integral to people’s lives. But many users seem to be well aware the technology can also become a time-suck and a distraction.
“These findings may have positive implications if smartphones increase people’s ability to operate efficiently and stay connected with others,” Gallup added. “On the other hand, reliance on smartphones poses risks to people’s mental health and relationships should they become addicted, with younger Americans having the greatest potential to experience these adverse results.”
If you do have a smartphone addiction, check out our tips on how you can rein in the device usage. Gallup conducted the poll between this past January and February. Over 30,000 US adults were surveyed, 97% of whom said they owned a smartphone, an increase from 81% from seven years ago.
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