Cell Phone Addiction: 15 Numbers That Show The Ridiculous Obsession Americans Have With Their Phones

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Have you ever had a family gathering, a social function or a business meeting ruined by someone that was obsessed with checking their cell phone?  I see this wherever I go, and it is one of the reasons why I don’t like to leave the house much.  No matter who is around and no matter how important what they are supposed to be doing may be, many Americans feel a deep, dark compulsion to constantly check their smartphones.  As you will see below, the average user checks his or her phone 35 times a day, but of course there are some people that are well into the triple digits.  Cell phone addiction is very real, and that is why there are actually rehab programs for this sort of thing.  Unfortunately, we simply can’t put the entire country into rehab, and this problem just keeps getting worse with each passing year.

Below, I want to share with you 15 numbers that show how ridiculous our obsession with our smartphones has become.  I think that you will agree with me that our addiction to cell phones has gotten way out of control...

1. The average smartphone user checks his or her phone 35 times a day.


2. Common Sense media just released a new survey that found that 50 percent of American teens admit that they “feel addicted” to their smartphones.


3. Close to 70 percent of parents and teens say that they have argued about smartphone usage.


4. 77 percent of parents say that “their teenagers were sometimes distracted by their phones or tablets during time spent together with family”.


5. Even though it is illegal in almost every state, 56 percent of parents confess that they check their mobile devices while drivig.


6. 51 percent of teens admit that they have seen their parents check their smartphones while driving.


7. A different survey found that 75 percent of all smartphone users admit that they have texted while driving at least once.


8. 70 percent of smartphone users check their phones “within an hour of getting up”.


9. 56 percent of smartphone users check their phones “within an hour of going to sleep”.


10. 61 percent of smartphone users admit that “they regularly sleep with their cell or smartphone turned on under their pillow or next to their bed”.


11. 48 percent of smartphone users check their devices over the weekend.


12. 51 percent of smartphone users check their devices continuously during their vacations.


13. 44 percent of smartphone users admit that they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if the phone went missing and they were unable to replace it for a week.


14. One survey discovered that the average cell phone user is on the device for 3 hours and 8 minutes a day.


15. A different survey found that the average cell phone user actually spends 3.6 hours a day using it.

No matter how you break these numbers down, they paint a very clear picture of a society that is absolutely addicted to these devices.

Unfortunately, this is not something that a lot of us take very seriously.  For example, just consider the following excerpt from a CNN article.  The author openly acknowledges the obsession that she has with her smartphone, but she is obviously not too concerned about it…

If you asked me whether I’m addicted to my smartphone or whether I overuse it, I would say absolutely not. I pride myself on not keeping my devices (I have two of them!) in my bedroom while I sleep, and keeping them out of reach on the kitchen counter when I’m home with my kids. But, every time I walk into the kitchen, I find myself checking my email and Twitter feed.


There’s almost a gravitational pull toward my BlackBerry and iPhone even when I know the chance that there is anything I need to see at that moment is next to zero. I feel that same pull the minute I wake up and make checking my devices one of the first things I do once I get out of bed.

To me, our society was so much better off when all we had were rotary phones that were physically tied to the wall.  In this day and age, we have a generation of people that have been trained to think that it is okay to pull out their mobile devices and stare into them like zombies wherever they are.  And especially among our young people there are many that start to get physically uncomfortable if they have to talk to you for more than five minutes without checking their phones.

Of course this is just another indication of how “me-centered” our society has become.  Our phones have literally become extensions of ourselves, and we love to immerse ourselves in our own little worlds.

There is something deeply narcissistic about our love affair with these smartphones.  Yes, I understand that millions of us have to use them for work, and in many ways they do make our lives much more convenient.

But on the other hand they are greatly contributing to the sense of loneliness and isolation that so many Americans are feeling these days.

Instead of having deep, meaningful relationships with our phones, perhaps we should try having deep, meaningful relationships with one another.

After all, previous generations of Americans seemed to have done just fine without checking their phones every five minutes.

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SubjectivObject's picture

If it rings, I look at it.

If I have it on me.

If I remember where it is.

HedgeAccordingly's picture

Life in the fastlane love spikoli.

38BWD22's picture



Does checking the price of gold 10x per day count?

Stackers's picture

My smart phone is....

my alarm clock

my home phone

my mobile phone

my weather radar

my email

my FX/Market ticker tape

my camera

my calendar

my walkman

my music album collection

The things are handy....

Automatic Choke's picture

yup....plus a few more:

   - it is my kindle (don't need to carry books while travelling)

   - it is my entertainment (endless sudoku)

   - it is my Sonos remote control unit


oh yeah, occasionally i make calls with it!


(but i don't take it hiking with me.  no problem leaving it behind on multi-day backpacking trips.)

Skateboarder's picture

Phones are gay. In-person interaction or bust.

Desktop or laptop computer does everything and more than smartpoop can. One screen is enough thank you. Hopefully one day soon I will be in a field which does not require me to stare at this shit all day. Making and serving food for people is one such option. Food aint hurt nobody. And fuck your credit card, CASH ONLY.

zippedydoodah's picture

"King" was IPO'd at $7 billion, all because of a game called Candy Crush that the zombies played on their mobiles.


How ludicrous was that. I just found out it was bought for $5.9 billion in Feb 2016. Next year maybe it will be worth $9.99.

Countrybunkererd's picture

I have never owned a "smart" phone.  I have a flip phone with letters AND numbers on the same keys... I text about 15 times a year.  lap/desk tops are my method as well.  What type of person would WANT to watch a movie on a phone? really so the 55+ inch tv is for what? playstation?

If i am forced to move to a smartphone i will kill the service and buy a prepaid phone for emergency use only.  I have much more important things to do such as spending REAL time together with people.  Why do people even go out to eat anymore considering they look at their phones the whole time they are there and barely speak to eachother?

I know a high school principal that cannot even text coherently...who used to correct my grammar before these stupidboxes existed.  THAT is how bad this has become.  It is to a point that nothing really matters, no honor in personal standards or goals to be met.


Backin2006's picture

There's a lot of (correct) conspiratorial anti-government bluster on ZH, but... we are also complicit. We spend a fortune on chains that bind us. We are the ones who readily go out and buy tracking devices. Nothing digital will ever be private. Opt out! And if you can't, minimalise your usage. Put all the electronic devices in a single room of your house. Leave home frequently without a phone. Disable tracking electronics on your car. NEVER use Uber! Hitch hike. Car share. Move to the mountains. Walk places. Take out class actions against firms which do face tracking against your knowledge. Sue the privacy killers. Stand for Congress. The techno-suppression of contemporary N. America is very, very wrong. We should livid by now. Stop playing a long like sheep and do something!

XuscitizenSweden's picture

Wise words there  Backin2006.


"The Masses are Asses".....commonly known as sheeple.

I own a 10 yr old Nokia; no camera, radio, no internet......no vibrator nor porn.

I use it less than 1 hr per month.

It's otherwise turned-OFF.

People in general lack the ability to make 'true priorities & take responsibility' for their lives; they bitch alot but fail to see it's their own behaviour behind their failings in life.

I worked with computers & simple programming in the 1970's.

I opted OUT.

Been living-out of-the box for almost 40 years.

Most westerners are trapped in the techno hamster wheel.

I ain't.

:) X-


peddling-fiction's picture

Hej XUS,

What were you programming back in the days?



XuscitizenSweden's picture


APL 360,

We were using the 1st online 'net' to if I remember correctly, Princeton U.

IBM computer cards.

Chemical Analysis with Cobol.


APL 360 & COBOL:



Ha de´ bra nu M_


peddling-fiction's picture

Tack XUS,

Wow, that was early in the game.

I started a little later with BASIC using an Apple IIe.

GOTO and GOSUB ad nauseum.


Abbie Normal's picture

Fortran IV was my introduction to programming.  It was the first year that the university had replaced punchcards with tape.  APL, Pascal, Basic, C, and a bunch of others I've long since forgotten followed.

Whoa Dammit's picture

I will never forget going to a Ritz Carlton resort for 3 days with some of the relatives who couldn't leave their phones alone. All they did the entire time was text each other and send each other photos of what we were doing, There wern't many of us, so we were always togerther doing the same thing.The worst was the food pictures they had to send each other when we were all at one smallish table and could clearly see the food.It was impossible to have a converstation, and was a totally mind boggling  waste of time and money.

Skateboarder's picture

Did they at least act fancy?

edit: I pity "educated" people who do look another human in the face while they are speaking, instead arrogantly staring at their smartpoops. The degradation of human decency is underway. I am not afraid to call out these things (to people who do such things) for what they are.

Countrybunkererd's picture

Yeah... I called them out until i seriously wondered if i would need to draw my firearm.  They don't like it and i don't care that they are crap people.  They can wallow in their expensive filthy beds of divorce, hated by their children, and all that goes with it.

I am not afraid, i just don't want to have to shoot some dumbass because they are irate at my insistence that they are uncultured and all that.

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

cocktails by pool or on beach or at bar and put them on ignore, problem solved, it's your time and money too

Antifaschistische's picture

48% check their smart phone on the weekend!!!   and 52% are liars!!

Countrybunkererd's picture

51%.  I am in the 1%(or less) that doesn't have a smart phone.  Can't check something that i don't have.

orez65's picture

I hate to quote Hillarynochio but, "what difference does it make?"

A message for the author of this post:

"Mind your own fu.king business"

Your next post will probably be on "pooping addiction, the ridiculous obsession Americans have with pooping"

slyder wood's picture

If I need to take a dump, the phone conversation is usually very short. I know my priorities.

Don't "need" a mobile but you do need to eliminate....

Abbie Normal's picture

A message for the author of this post:

"Mind your own fu.king business"

-- spoken like a true addict

If you don't recognize it's a problem, then you're part of the problem.

RAT005's picture

Checking gold on the wifi smartphone of course. I use my phone more as a tablet and camera than as a phone. 

Mike Ochisbent's picture

If it doesn't ring or vibrate WTF are you checking anyway? These people sound like the pathetic homesick loser in my freshman dorm who kept checking the mailbox every hour. "There's NO MAIL, DUDE! Go back to bed!"

OldPhart's picture

I learned not so long ago that my TaliPhoneTM will make and accept text...but each costs about 2 minutes.  So now I just ignore them.  The phone is to make a call if I have a need, or for wife and family to be able to call.  There are periods of time where I have carried it for days not realizing it was out of juice.

I think it will do a few other functions but I haven't bothered to learn how to use them.  I don't need them.

Countrybunkererd's picture

my ringtone changed (i don't know if i did it or what and don't care) about 8 months ago.  It now has frogs chirping or something and it is fitting because i use it about 4 times a month.  I left it in the car for over a week with a dead battery. 

ebworthen's picture

Fucking digital banana.

Jesus, if I see another Monkey (oh sorry..."driver") speeding in and out of traffic looking at their fucking device I'm going to go Postal!

Dumb fucking baboons!  Get a fucking clue you troglodytes!  You are driving a 3,000 lb. plus WEAPON of DESTRUCTION and DEATH!  Yours and/or someone elses!

They're probably dicking on their phones while they listen to an MSM story about "Gun Violence". 

Not one single thought about it being people violence as they hurtle down the road!  Fucking chimps!

Pay the fuck attention to the road you fuck-up primate distract-able goons!

I'm beginning to think evolution is a curse, a plot of the Devil!?!?

Overflow-admin's picture

I don't have a SMARTPHONE. It is known, smartphones will eat your SOUL.


El Dorado's picture

Who read this on their smart phone?

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) El Dorado May 9, 2016 8:34 PM

I thumbed straight to the comments

Mike Ochisbent's picture

Read from my carbine-action, two hundred shot 2011 Model iPad2 with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.

Adahy's picture

A phone is for making and receiving calls.

boattrash's picture

" Cell phone addiction is very real, and that is why there are actually rehab programs for this sort of thing."

Cell Phone Rehab?

Maybe that's my financial future. Take people to my mountain camp where there's no phone signal, no wifi, no TV, and no landline, but lots of beer. Can I charge $15,000-$30,000 a month for that? Can I bill those fucking insurance companies for it?

toady's picture

Can I charge $15,000-$30,000 a month for that? Can I bill those fucking insurance companies for it?

If the answer to the second question is yes, then the answer to the first question is yes. 

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I kid you not. I was deep in the back country on my horse when I saw another rider coming towards me. When she finally got to me, her reins were crossed over her saddle and she was texting. Her horse was walking any way he chose. She almost fell off so startled when I passed by.

I picked up a package at the post office and as I was walking to my car, a bicyclist who was texting ran into me and knocked me to the ground. Twisting hard so not to fall, hurt my back out so I went to my chiropractor. I was the first texting while bicycling accident he has seen and made the top ten insane reasons to have to see a chiropractor. I will say the number one reason will remain in top position for a long time.


NoPension's picture

It's sex, isn't it?! I'll bet it is. It is, right? Betcha,betcha! What kind? Ohh..oh ohh...

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

God I love ZH. You guys crack me up. Ho hum... Back to the PC world. *sigh*


HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) Miffed Microbiologist May 10, 2016 1:57 AM

Miffed, that was a great comment! That ditz texting on a horse is lucky. I hate to say how many horse accidents and injuries I have seen or heard about through the years.

You sound too fricken nice. Sounds like the chiro got you squared away. Good. Something else to watch out for. Airheads on bicycles and horses.


Abbie Normal's picture

Rehab facilities start at $2K/day so yours would be a bargain.

dcohn's picture

It is so true.  I have unluckily had to have that friggin phone nearby for work as I manage a servers at a data center and the alerts that a fucking server is down comes in on a text message.  

I have been doing it for 20 years though and it was never a thing where I would check the phone. It used to be a pager actually. Then I switched to a startac It would make a fucking noise.  I would then pick it up anc see the alert.  Nothing to see here.

But as I watched the rest of the world learn about texting I sat in disbelief as people started using this shit all day long.

It is truly insane.  I stayed away from FB for years and recently I joined some group and had to check the FB page.  I am still amazed at how many new posts appear on my little FB page I have with 50 friends.  Actually people I really know only.

I cannot even fathom how anyone that has hundreds of friends can possibly do anything in FB.  Its just insanity. 

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) dcohn May 10, 2016 1:52 AM

I call it Fuckbook. And yes, I agree, most people are insane and completely fucking clueless.

Anyone that wants to interact with me needs to be able to make eye contact and keep their hands off their dick / pussy, oops, their smart phone.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

As bad as cell phones are, and I admit they are bad, they are better than land lines.  


The only calls I get on my land line are people asking for money, including the cops and firemen.