By Caroline Cakebread 
  • An annual Deloitte study found that smartphone users are starting to become more aware of their phone habits.
  • Almost half of survey respondents said they try to reduce how much they are on their phones.
  • Users below 34 are the most concerned about a possible smartphone addiction.

There’s no way around it – we are addicted to our smartphones. Smartphone addiction even has a name now; nomophobia, short for no-mobile-phone phobia.

We’ve all probably experienced the symptoms at one point: panicking when separated from our smartphone, not being able to focus at work or during conversations, and constantly checking phones for new notifications.

The idea of being addicted to a screen is not a nice one, and according to a Deloitte survey, smartphone users have started to realize they might have a problem. Smartphone usage has been trending upwards since 2015, but for the first time Deloitte found that smartphone usage declined or plateaued in 2017, with almost half (47%) of survey respondents reporting that they are trying to reduce or limit their phone use.

Interestingly, the most concerned groups of people are between 18 and 34 years of age. Seventy-two percent of 18 to 24-year-olds reported they “definitely” or “probably” use their phones too much, and 75% of respondents 25-34-years-old also said they use their phones too much. In contrast, only 13% of those 55 and older are concerned about their over use.

Common strategies to cut back

Across all age groups there are a few common strategies for curbing the addiction. Most common is keeping a phone in a handbag or pocket when meeting other people. Years ago, this might have been normal common courtesy, and users are happily attempting to revert to the habit. Another common and easy trick is turning off audio notifications. Out of sight, out of earshot, and out of mind.

Despite the slowly reversing trend, Americans still have a long ways to go. Somewhat terrifyingly, Deloitte found that collectively, U.S. smartphone users look at their phones 12 billion times a day.

Phone etiquette

Originally published at