Can you live without your phone? Yes. My phone doesn’t rule me. That is what everyone claims. However, our reality is quite different.
There is no doubt that ever since 2007, when the iPhone came into existence, mobile devices slowly became an essential part of our daily lives. Eyes remained glued to screens as attention spans dropped.
If this trend continues, we’ll soon become one with our phones. You don’t have to look at smartphone addiction statistics for confirmation. You can just look around.
These devices allow us unlimited access to information, and communication today is easier than ever. Nevertheless, if you want to get a better understanding of how the tech revolution affects our behavior and minds, read on.
Top Facts and Stats on Smartphone Addiction (Editor’s Pick)
There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world.
There are 8 billion mobile connections in the world.
33% of teens socialize more online than face-to-face.
People spend 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day.
The US has a smartphone penetration of 79.1%.
60% of Americans ages 18 to 34 admit to smartphone overuse.
41% of teens feel overwhelmed by mobile notifications.
43% of workers turn off their phones during work.
General Phone Addiction Statistics
We’ll kick things off with some of the most important stats about general phone use and overuse around the globe.
- There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in 2020.
That is almost half of the world’s population. If we want to be precise about it, 44.98% of people use a smartphone. This number represents a billion new users compared to 2016. The rate of use is increasing by 300 million users per year. It used to be 200 million per year, but it went up to 300 million in 2018. This rate has remained steady for the past two years, and we expect the overall number to reach 3.8 billion users in 2021.
So, are phones addictive? Everyone is using them, and those that aren’t are likely to soon start.
- The number of mobile devices is forecast to reach 16.8 billion in 2023.
If we go by cell phone addiction statistics in 2019, we can see that the number of devices in circulation was 13.09 billion. You may think that this is indicative of a trend of people upgrading their phones. Nevertheless, despite the constant rise of this number, the actual units shipped per year were down 4.9% in 2019, compared to 2018. Many hope that the arrival of more affordable 5G handsets and services may spark growth in markets where the refresh cycle is stagnant.
- There are 8 billion mobile connections in the world.
When you look at these smartphone usage statistics, it becomes obvious why cellphone addiction has become a talking point. Today, most people have more than one phone. Work requires a work phone with its mobile connection, and if you think 8 billion is a lot, know that forecasts say that this number will increase by 0.5 billion in 2023.
In 2019, 4G was the dominant technology with over 4 billion connections or 52% of all mobile connections. The number of 4G connections will grow in the next few years, peaking at 60% in 2023. Meanwhile, 5G is on the rise. By 2025, it will account for 20% of all connections.
- 70% of the population will subscribe to mobile services by 2025.
If two-thirds of the global population subscribe to mobile services, we’re on target to hit 90% in about a decade, according to the current rates shown by cell phone statistics 2018. Adding new subscribers is becoming more difficult as markets are becoming saturated. Nevertheless, experts say that most of the new subscribers will come from India, China, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Cell Phone Addiction Among the Young
If mobile technology is spreading like wildfire and has given birth to this novel disorder, does it affect our youth?
- Four out of five teenagers keep their devices in their rooms overnight.
According to cell phone addiction studies, a third of teens that keep their phones in their room, also bring them to bed. What’s even more interesting is that their parents are no better. They’re part of the problem and have influenced this behavior. More than 83% of them keep their phones in their bedrooms at night, and 12% of them keep them close by in bed. These percentages come from a study that polled 1,000 children and parents, which also found that smartphones cause conflicts at home between parents and children.
- 47% of parents believe that their children suffer from cell phone addiction.
Parents say that they’ve witnessed the effects first-hand and that they have difficulty prying their kid’s phones away from them. However, most parents are honest about their use. Going by the latest cell phone addiction statistics, 32% of them admit that they have difficulty putting the devices down. They consider themselves phone addicts too, and believe they’ve negatively affected their children concerning their smartphone use. 67% of teachers say that mobile devices distract their students, and close to 90% of parents take responsibility for this occurrence.
- 33% of teens socialize more online than face-to-face.
The good news is that 69% of teens wish they could spend more time socializing face-to-face with close friends, according to smartphone addiction statistics 2018. Furthermore, more than half of them do not check their phones when they’re spending extended periods of sitting together with others. It proves that they yearn for real-life socialization, which is encouraging.
- 60% of teens think their friends suffer from this addiction.
More than half of young people believe their classmates, friends, and acquaintances, contribute to phone addiction statistics. The percentage differs from study to study, but fluctuates between 50% to 60%, in most. Kids aren’t dumb — 71% of them are aware that companies design apps that keep them staring at screens. Many psychologists agree that addiction to tech devices is more serious for young people. Teens are not ignorant; they identify the problem in themselves and their peers.
- 41% of teens feel overwhelmed by the number of daily notifications.
Modern technology makes kids feel anxious and fearful. 42% of them worry about potential online gossip and how it may affect their social life. Which is why 68% are attempting to reduce the amount of time they spend on their phones. 37% of them are trying to persuade a friend to do the same. Almost half of all teens believe that their phones are an obstacle to getting good grades in school and that they cause unnecessary anxiety.
This positive thinking and desire have produced a slight dip in teen phone use, and their participation in nomophobia statistics in 2019, wasn’t as pronounced.