Smartphone users spend 4 hours a day with noses buried in apps

App analytics company and data industry standard App Annie has just released some

on just how much time we’re spending with our faces glued to our smartphone screen every day.

The analytics company held a study across the top nine countries in the world that are spending the most screen time right now. The study focused on Android power users in particular, as on a global level, they far outnumber iOS users. 

According to App Annie, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and India sit at the very top of the list right now (nope, the United States isn’t one of them). On average, these countries’ power users (or the top 20% most active smartphone users) were found to spend an average of over four hours a day on various apps downloaded from the Google Play store.

Four hours—that’s half of a regular workday, or half a full night’s sleep. Think of all the things we could do with this extra time on our hands!

Social Media Isn’t Even at the Top

You may think it’s social media apps that have the highest monetization to gain from this rather sobering statistic. However, you may be in for a surprise: in those listed countries, the highest gross revenue for Android apps is claimed entirely by games. 

That’s right: Clash Royale has Facebook and Instagram beat in India, Mexico, and Brazil, while a made-in-Taiwan MMORPG game called Lineage M earns more than any other Google Play app in South Korea. Japanese power users seem to most favor an RPG titled Fate/Grand Order.

A 45% Screen Time Increase in 2 Years

App Annie’s jarring statistic of top power users’ daily smartphone screen time has seen a significant jump of around 45% when compared to numbers from 2019.

But come to think of it, it’s an understandable phenomenon to a degree. With a pandemic ravaging the globe over the course of a year and forcing people behind closed doors for months at time, many of us have had little else to occupy those long hours but technology. 

And once we get used to the cycle of being stuck at home with nothing to do but aimlessly scroll through our phone for hours on end, it naturally becomes increasingly difficult to drop the habit once we get back out into the real world. 

The data analytics firm notes that “it’s worth thinking of the value users spend in apps in moments, not total hours” because the way people use and engage with apps will be vastly complicated and different, and difficult to track properly. 

As Technology Improves, So Does Temptation

With the increasingly limitless range of applications becoming available literally at our fingertips, it seems there’s always something new we can look at, scroll through, or discover on our smartphones. 

Not all of it’s necessarily bad, though—many people have taken to regularly using exercise apps on which to follow workouts, or educational apps for learning languages or gaining other useful knowledge. Sometimes we have to do our shopping through an app, or take care of finances via a mobile platform, and the list goes on.

At the end of the day, however, four hours of staring at our phones is an additional four hours after the screen time most of us are exposed to at work already, and such an excess can be harmful to our health and affect us negatively in other subconscious ways. 

The mobile marketing industry would have us with noses buried in our phones 24 hours a day if they could, but it’s good to be as aware as we can of how we’re spending the majority of own valuable time—after all, nobody else can do it for us.

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