Digital media gains more ground in the war for our eyeballs every year, and its weapon of choice is the one that’s always in our pockets.
Venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report crunches data on just about every topic affecting the web and how we use it. In her 2019 report, she found that the average adult US user spent 6.3 hours per day using digital media in 2018, up from 6 hours in 2017. The figure has risen steadily over the past decade, with smartphone use now comprising the majority of that time. In 2008 it was 2.7 hours, largely made up of desktop/laptop use.
Pew Research Center found that the share of Americans who own a smartphone has ballooned from 35 percent in 2011 to 81 percent in 2019. According to a recent Pew survey, 37 percent of U.S. adults say they primarily use a smartphone when connecting to the internet. For 18-to-29 year-olds, that figure is 58 percent.
At the same time, Pew found that 27 percent of adults say they don’t have a home broadband subscription. Nearly half of those said they cut the cord because their smartphones let them do everything they need online. Of course, that convenience requires a tradeoff. Meeker’s 2019 report states that 26 percent of adults say they are online “almost constantly,” up from 21 percent three years ago.
If you feel like you’re spending too much time on your smartphone or social media, check out our tips to wean yourself off them and take back some control over your digital life.