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.

“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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I.-powered cat toys, wallets, food containers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky-smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your photos off the 'gram and saved elsewhere. But Instagram has recently launched a tool that lets you download all of your…
Mobile

Safeguard your new Apple smartphone with one of our favorite iPhone XS cases

If the iPhone XS is your next device, then you’ll want to shop for some proper protection now. That glass sandwich design is all too easy to scratch or crack, so make sure you snag one of the best iPhone XS cases to keep it looking good.
Mobile

The Pixel’s Night Sight mode is currently available (but hidden)

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance could be about to get even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.
Mobile

From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0, here’s how Google’s OS evolved over a decade

It's hard to believe, but Android has been around for almost a decade now. From Android 1.0 to Android 9.0 Pie, here's the history of Android and the changes that came with each new software iteration.
Mobile

Google is working on a fix for the Pixel 3's image-saving bug

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are arguably the best Android phones out there right now -- but they aren't perfect. Users have reported a number of issues and problems related to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Here's how to fix them.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1 update will include a fix for iPhone XS, XR selfies

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Apple could show off a new iPad Mini and AirPower charger at October event

Apple's sprung a surprise event on us, even though this year has seen loads of new Apple releases. So what's left to come? Quite a lot as it turns out. Here's what to expect from Apple's October 30 event.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

Meet Messenger 4: Facebook’s makeover both simplifies and customizes your chats

Messenger will soon be getting a new look. Facebook has unveiled Messenger 4, an update with the same tools but a simplified look. The chat app is also getting a new customization feature.