Phone Usage Continues to Increase

Time spent scrolling through social media apps, texting and playing games has risen over the past years.


ADDICTED – Students at AHS show the daily amount of time they spend on their phones. Users across the country are continuing to increase the amount of time they spend on their phones, with an average of five hours per day.

How much time does the average person spend looking down at their phone, scrolling through endless social media apps, texting or calling? Time spent on mobile apps is continuing to grow and according to new data, users in the United States are spending five hours per day on their mobile devices, with an increase of 89% of time spent on mobile apps.

Atlantic High School phone usage in students reflected the trends across the country. With selected students in AHS, it was found that the average person spent four hours per day on their phones. Social media apps were the most frequently used, along with games.

Phones can distract people from the relationships that are most important to them, and studies show that more and more teens have been using their phones in social situations instead of interacting. Being on a smartphone can also affect mental health. Although they can be used for good, overusing the device is when it starts to become a dangerous addiction. The intense focus that teens have on their cell phones can distract them from living in the moment.

It’s like we’re creating a whole generation of social misfits.

— Trace Petersen

American History teacher Trace Petersen, a flip-phone owner, said, “When I hear the word smartphone, it’s false advertisement. We all have computers. I don’t see the need for a smartphone.” Petersen also mentioned how lack of a smartphone has benefitted him and believes smartphones are causing many problems for teens. “When I go out and get my milk every day for lunch and in the lunchroom, all I see is kids on their phones and it’s like we’re creating a whole generation of social misfits,” Petersen said. He hasn’t made the switch to a newer phone because he “doesn’t need one and neither does anyone else because we have computers.”

One way to help limit phone usage would be to cut down on time spent checking texts, social media and other apps. Keeping phones out of the bedroom late at night is another option, and making time to go out and see people face-to-face rather than just taking out a smartphone.