At least, that’s the estimate of Aussie mobile phone use over a lifetime of scrolling, tweeting, watching, liking, and reading, by reviews site reviews.org, which surveyed 1,000 Australians about their mobile phone screen time - then factored in the average number of years that we own a smartphone - and compared that to current average life expectancies, and calculated against the average number of waking hours (about 16.7 hours).
“As you might’ve expected, younger generations are leading the charge when it comes to how many hours we’re sinking into our devices,” says reviews.org.
“While those born before 1965 are reporting an average of three hours of screen time per day, that number effectively doubles among Gen Xers and Millennials. But it is those in the Gen Z cohort that are really taking advantage of those unlimited data plans, reporting an average screen time of 7.3 hours each day.”
On the question of how to reduce screen time, according to reviews.org, smartphones have become so much a part of our daily lives that, for most people, it’s impossible to go without for more than a few hours without glancing at their devices.
“However, to ensure you maintain a healthy relationship with technology, it’s important to set a few guidelines.,” notes reviews.org, with Kim Anenberg Cavallo, Executive Director and co-founder of Unplug Collaborative - the team behind the National Day of Unplugging - explaining that, “Most of us have boundaries around when and where we eat food. The same thoughtfulness can be applied to consuming technology,”
“Create an engaging, tech-free zone in your home where screens are nonexistent and mobile devices will not follow you,” says Cavallo.
“This space should be an ever-changing hub of tech-free goodies, Kim says. Fill it with board games, puzzles, books, magazines, crafts and whatever else will feed that part of the brain that’s so used to being constantly bombarded with new links, images, videos and games.
“Make sure your tech-free zone has the element of surprise built in by swapping out the games and books regularly.”
Sources used by reviews.org included:
- TechCrunch, “The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years,” May 20, 2016.
- Data World Bank, “Life expectancy at birth, total (years) – Australia,” Accessed 25 March, 2021
- Sleep Health Foundation, “The sleep habits of an Australian adult population,” 24 September, 2015.
- Pew Research Center, “Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins,” January 17, 2019.