2022 Mobile Phone Usage Statistics: How addicted are we?

How much time are you really spending on your phone?

Mobile phone usage statistics
Kate Reynolds
Outreach Specialist
Read More
December 02, 2022
3 min read

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How much do you spend staring at your phone each day? It might be more than you think.

In fact, we surveyed 1000 Australians, and the average Aussie spends 5.67 a day on their phone—that’s up from 5.5 hours each day compared to last year.
And it’s hardly a surprise—what with unlimited phone data plans, Netflix, work emails, Slack, Instagram, TikTok, online banking and other various games and apps all vying for our attention, it can sometimes feel like our whole world is in our devices.

In 2021, daily usage trends showed that the average Aussie was on track to spend nearly 17 years of their life using their phones; a pretty sobering stat.

In 2022, that number has risen to 17.25 years across a lifetime.

Aussie screentime habits - Reviews.org

What we found

In addition to the increased screentime, our research showed that

  • the average Aussie also checks their phone on average 7.8 times an hour—that’s almost every 8 minutes,
  • the most popular apps Aussies say they spend the most time on are Facebook (28%), TikTok (17%) then Instagram (15%),
  • And just over half of Aussies (50.65%) consider themselves addicted to their phones.
  • Despite this, only 31% say they regularly check their screen time
    and only 37% (just over 1 in 3) have ever attempted a digital detox
Aussie screentime habits - Reviews.org

We also asked Aussies when and where they use their phones most.

  • 48% experience anxiety if they leave their phone at home
  • 67% say they find themselves scrolling mindlessly throughout the day
  • 75% sleep with their phone next to them
  • 78.5% of Aussies check their phone within 10 minutes of waking up
  • 56% say they couldn’t last a week without their phone
  • 42.5% say they’ve never gone 24 hours without their phone
  • 79% check their phone in bed
  • 60% check their phone when on the toilet
  • 64% check their phone while streaming a movie or TV show
  • 24% check their phone on a date
  • 19% say they check their phone while driving
  • 55% have texted someone in the same room as them
  • 47% say they feel anxious if their phone battery drops below 20%
  • 53% say they wouldn't be able to continue their day-to-day life if they lost their smartphone
Aussie screentime habits - Reviews.org

The benefits of a digital detox

Earlier this year, we ran a digital detox, asking Aussies to tell us why they needed a circuit from screen time. We had more than 1,200 entries, with reasons ranging from feelings of helplessness when it comes to relationships with phones and technology, to parents wanting to feel more connected to their kids and not their screens, and some people just horrified that they clock up 10+ hours each day on a screen.

Our Digital Detoxer, Braith Winton told us that between working and using tech for leisure activities like streaming and tracking exercise, he found it hard to catch a break from looking at screens.

“I definitely had an all-encompassing relationship with technology. Like many people, my life totally revolves around my phone and laptop at work during the day to my Apple TV and PC at night. I do think in some ways perhaps it was too integrated in my day, as I sometimes find it hard to sleep or to concentrate on work without music or a podcast.”

He said he applied to see if he could go a full 24 hours without any technology and to see how he would spend his day if tech wasn’t there to fill the void.

“I love LEGO, so building some of a new LEGO set took up a nice few hours of the day. My partner and I also went to the Zoo and had lunch out, which was a nice day and something we probably wouldn’t have done without the free time the detox gave us. Later in the day, we played some board games that we had been trying to find time to play. Other than that, it was easier to keep occupied as having conversations with others whilst in the car or cooking dinner was easier with fewer distractions of phones or TVs in the background.”

And he’s got some advice for anyone wanting to try a digital detox of their own.

“If you want to try a 24-hour detox, definitely plan out a day of fun things that you wouldn’t have done otherwise - if your plan is to sit around all day, I think you’ll find that the day will drag on. Take the time to connect in person with friends or family, go to the zoo or a theme park or catch up on some chores, and just enjoy the downtime. Most of all, relax knowing that your phone will still be there the next day to catch up on anything you may have missed.”

Braith also said that not having his phone on him for a whole day showed him that his phone isn’t as essential as he thought, and didn't need to be on him at all times. He also said that moving forward, he’d plan to leave his phone in another room for activities like board games or outings, so that he could be more present. “The detox has shown me that for the most part, my phone only has a very few things that I may really need it for, like an emergency, and that I can keep it close by but not on me and feel like I’m not missing out on anything.”

Methodology

We surveyed 1,000 Australians about their mobile phone screen time, then factored in the average number of years that we own a smartphone, compared that to current average life expectancies, and calculated against the average number of waking hours (about 16.7 hours).

Kate Reynolds
Written by
Kate Reynolds
Kate Reynolds is a writer who's at her happiest when there's haloumi on the brunch menu and a dog to give pats to. She's worked as a travel writer, journalist, theatre reviewer, broadcaster and radio creative, and spends her weekends with as much of the aforementioned haloumi and dogs as possible. She writes on Cammeraygal and Wangal land.

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