Smartphone Addiction Tightens Its Global Grip

Tyler Durden's picture

How long is it since you last used your phone? Chances are, you're using it right now to view this post. Analysts from Statista's Digital Market Outlook have revealed that the amount of time we're spending with our smartphones online has increased substantially over the last few years.

Infographic: Smartphone Addiction Tightens Its Global Grip | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

The term 'smartphone addiction' is by now pretty well-established (you can take a test here to see if you might be a sufferer). As our infographic shows, across the world, this addiction seems to be tightening its grip. Of the countries surveyed, smartphone owners in Brazil spend by far the most amount of time online. The average user in 2016 spent close to 5 hours per day surfing - more than twice as long as in 2012.

Perhaps this explains the collapse of global worker productivity, as we detailed previously, adjusting for the WWII anomaly (which tells us that GDP is not a good measure of a country’s prosperity) US productivity growth peaked in 1972 – incidentally the year after Nixon took the US off gold.

The productivity decline witnessed ever since is unprecedented. Despite the short lived boom of the 1990s US productivity growth only average 1.2 per cent from 1975 up to today. If we isolate the last 15 years US productivity growth is on par with what an agrarian slave economy was able to achieve 200 years ago.

The Answer to the economic dilemma of our time is simple then - "Put The Smartphone Down"... but then again, what will happen to Amazon, Google, Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and all the "real" economy drivers behind the stock market illusion?

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Altesh's picture

Low increase in productivity is more due to people realize it's not worth it to work yourself to death for declining real term wages. Also calculating increasing efficiency with 1.02^X where X-> infinity means the curve goes parabolic. An increase of 1% now is waaaay more than an increase in the 19th century. 

AVmaster's picture

I haven't used my shiny new iPhone for quite some time now...


Probably because I acidentally smashed it with the hood of my car(checking the oil)....



Altesh's picture

Man that sucks. :( The starving children in Japan could have eaten that phone you so callously broke. 

Blythes Master's picture

His phone did not get stolen in a botched robbery.
His name was Seth Rich

Countrybunkererd's picture

You have them everywhere.  Good work.  Who Killed Seth Rich?

Blythes Master's picture

Thank you.


Every thread.

As high as I can get it.

His name was Seth Rich

AVmaster's picture

iphones are made in china............... ..... ..........

Creative_Destruct's picture

Get off the fucking phone and WORK for your financial masters you lazy debt slaves !!

X- x3's picture

I've never owned a dumb-phone & never will.

Smart of me, right?

:)  X-

Countrybunkererd's picture

The last time i used mine was...Monday the 22nd.  Once.  And it isn't a smart phone.

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

I don't have a smartphone, but have a very smart pigeon, which I use to pass messages to my friends and enemies. Surveill this you POS NSA, GCHQ, and other three letter alphabet soup agencies.

Miss Informed's picture

In SHTF scenario you could eat the pigeon too.

edotabin's picture

Bring back the clamshell phones. Don't get me wrong, i enjoy using the smartphone but battery life horrendous. Clamshells could go on for days.

delmar Jackson's picture

you can get a Tracfone for $20 and a years service for $99 at walmart or order online at tracfone. I think mine came with 1000 minutes but I only give family the # so it never rings.LOL However you do need to be ready for the looks of pity and scorn when smart phone users take their eyes off of their phone long enough to see you are using a fliphone from the nineties. But if you spend the day on your computer i see o need to carry a computer in my pocket .It really is freedom not having a smartphone.

Countrybunkererd's picture

I had a discussion last saturday about my old cheap phone and they told me i needed to plug in to the now.  I pulled my phone out and showed them a picture of a large antique 22K gold necklace and earrings.  I said I prefer to spend my money on things like this than on a gadget that sucks up my life and alienates me from my wife.  She shut up.

Lucretius's picture

Del, I had the good fortune years ago to have a friend use the phrase "electronic leash", and it stuck, my attitude has not changed...since early 90's! My daughter used to bug me incessantly for a "beeper (pager), presumably a status symbol for 5th grader. Finally gave her one that an operator lost. Have had them in the past (phones) but now do not even have cell, land line or voip, I fired them ALL! Wifey has a cell when I need to speak w/ someone.

All said though, screen addicts are most entertaining, walking in front of trains, buses, etc. Idiots! How long till they come up with a shock collar app?

edotabin's picture

Speaking of which, , a few years years back I actually had a very modern phone for the day but set the ringer to vintage telephone. I was at a cafe in Europe with some friends and my phone rang.  Their minds nearly exploded.  They couldn't make the connection between the phone and the sound it was making.  It took them about 10 seconds to realize what was going on.  Even those sitting at nearby tables turned around to see what was going on.  When they finally got it,  they all started laughing. 

scoutshonor's picture

Comparing the abilty of work done now with the work required of every member of the population 200 years ago is hi-larious.

Folks had to work back in the day--and calling for pizza delivery is not the same thing.  Most people I work with can barely get out of their own way.  Fixing a plow was not a matter of submitting a work order to some other department--although I hear people describing submitting a w/o as "fixing the copier."

I wonder if having Onstar send AAA when you have a flat tire counts as changing a tire?

Cockoo's picture

Might as well, keep a few tin cans for when the nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) hits the smart phone and they are taken out. Plan B was CB radio hopefully radio shack will have some in stock.  Hi-tech people will utilize drones as if they were pigeons.   Looks like I will be screwed when the shit hits the fan.

Laughing.Man's picture

TPTB couldn't ask for a better device for mind control of the population.  Waiting for the day when the smartphone would be miniaturized to a small chip and implanted into your head.  Maybe starting WW3 is a good idea after all.

kareninca's picture

I love my clamshell phone.  It does everything I need a phone to do.  It cost nothing (it was free without a contract), and it holds a charge for days.

lakecity55's picture

I leave mine at home, usually.

JailBanksters's picture

What pisses me off about smart phones with people stuck to them:

Having to constantly watchout for them, there too busy texting to watch where they are walking.

So now, I just stop dead in front on them, and wait for them to walk into me, then yell at them

for not watching where they are going.


Squid Viscous's picture

why stop, i usually speed up a little and shoulder or hip check them, to protect myself ....

and keep walking, as their curses fade in the distance


hardmedicine's picture

No kidding, I'm with a customer and they have to answer their phone in the middle of an appointment.  First, it's rude.  Second, the conversation is almost always completely pointless and definitely could have waited another 30 minutes, Thirdly, it promotes helicopter parenting which I believe is one of the MANY reasons that the kids today still live at home into their 30s. 


Don't get me wrong, I think if we are going to live in McMansions, there definitely ought to be multiple generations living in them..... it's just the dependents that don't pay rent or food and spend all their money on clothes and partying at bars that pisses me.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

just think with computer driven cars, all the extra time you will have for your smart phone addiction..progress

Jerusalem Cats's picture

The Smart phone is banned in the Haredim Community in Israel. The simple Kosher Phone is the standard phone.

hidflect's picture

Well, since they don't work either, it's no big loss to them.

djsmps's picture

I don't own one.

blindfaith's picture

cooking brains, one microwave pulse at a time.  Sleep with it under you pillow will be the new 'rage'.


All of you do realize that simple scientfic fact I trust.  No? Then ask yourself why the government has stopped measuring the output.

A. Boaty's picture

Put it on speaker, hold at a distance.

brushhog's picture

We have no cellphone reception where we live so its a non-issue. When we leave the area we are always amazed at the number of people on cellphones...walking down the street, standing in lines, sitting in restaurants and coffee shops, they are all playing with their phones. In our small town you never see it. Very few people have them.

Drater's picture

This study is flawed because Obamaphone users were never productive in the first place....

BLUEJAY1111's picture

I will now be forced to institute a cell phone policy in my dental office due to declining productivity.  The receptionist is the worst offender and has even been bold enough to be texting her boyfriends right in front of my newly recruited practice consultant.  Three times yesterday I caught one of the assistants hiding in an operatory while on her phone.  Well, they will all get a rude awakening next week when CEI comes in to install cameras and they are informed that cell phones will no longer be permitted in the office.  That's when the fireworks begin!

Savvy's picture

They did it to themselves. Last winter at work a loader man drove the 988 (big loader) over a concrete barrier while texting on his cell. I laughed.

umdesch4's picture

Last time I used my smartphone was about 4 hours ago when it alerted me that one of our production servers had gone offline. Then I VPNed into the network, RDPed to the monitoring host, determined that it was a brief routing issue with our ISP that had been resolved, and sent a corporate-wide email informing people what had happened, etc.

Some of us use our phones to free ourselves from our desks, and still be productive. I've deployed software updates, and run server patches while sitting in front of a campfire, or standing by the ocean watching a pod of whales pass by.

I'd probably hate my life, were it not for my smartphone. Thing is, it's a Blackberry Priv, so I don't know what I'll do if/when they stop making phones.

umdesch4's picture

12 years ago:

Standing in a store, looking at a big ticket item, wondering if it's a good price. Decide either:
a) Take a chance and buy it
b) Go home, do some price comparisons online, wait until next weekend to go to the place with a better price. Let laundry pile up.


Same scenario, except:
a) Pull out phone and price check on the spot. Save $100 by going straight to the place with the best price.

gold rubeberg's picture

"Smartphone Addiction Tightens Its Global Grip"

The cure for that is already coming into view ... ads need only get sufficiently intrusive and annoying ...