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Americans spend an alarming amount of time checking social media on their phones

Texting while driving
It’s an all too familiar sight: Man walks into a tree while browsing Facebook, or woman falls into a mall fountain while texting. And now, with a new report from Informate Mobile Intelligence, we know exactly how attached Americans are to their smartphones and their social media networks. According to this latest research, people in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts a staggering 17 times a day, meaning at least once every waking hour, if not more. But Americans aren’t even the most dependent on these networks when compared to denizens of other countries — in fact, smartphone users in Thailand, Argentina, Malaysia, Qatar, Mexico, and South Africa checked these networking apps at least 40 times a day. Seriously, how popular can you be?

And before you launch into a “kids these days” tirade, bear in mind that surprisingly, the majority of these compulsive social media checkers are adults, with the highest usage observed in those between the ages of 25 and 54. Comparatively speaking, teenagers and young adults (those between 15 and 24) were actually less prone to staying glued to their smartphones.

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“While social networking may have started as a viral craze for U.S. teenagers, it’s steadily matured into an everyday lifestyle for many adults around the world who are now eclipsing teens and young adults as most-frequent users,” said Informate CEO Will Hodgman.

While the U.S. did not lead global markets in terms of amount of time spent on social media networks, it was far and away the highest consumer of monthly data, spending the most time per day on their phones with a staggering 4.7 hours. Considering that the average American is awake for just over 15 hours a day (seeing as we sleep for an average of eight hours and 42 minutes), this means that we spend approximately a third of our time on our phones. Sure, using your smartphone isn’t mutually exclusive with completing other activities, but still, 4.7 hours is a significant chunk of the day.

So do yourself a favor and try to unplug from that tiny little screen for awhile. You may be surprised at how much more you can accomplish with an extra few undistracted hours in your day.

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