How many hours throughout the day do you think you spend using you phone, watching Netflix on your television or writing a paper on your laptop? According to a Nielsen Company audience report, the average person in the United States spends approximately 10 hours and 39 minutes each day. This average of 10 hours and 39 minutes includes our daily use of smartphones, computers, video games, radios, tablets and TVs.
The Nielsen Company also revealed that there has been a one-hour increase over the last year in how often an average American spends their time staring at the screen. “The number of devices we have proliferate the overall time spent with screens, and the number of devices is increasing. A lot of people have been thinking about how or whether this time spent is a good use of their time, which becomes a deep issue,” said Steve Gortmaker, a professor of health sociology at Harvard University. We are spending and using nearly half of our time throughout the day staring at the screen. Smartphones are used about one hour and 39 minutes daily to consume media. Personally speaking, I can say I definitely believe that. I spend that much time or maybe even more on a daily basis checking the latest posts on Instagram or answering back friends on Snapchat.
In addition, another report concluded that out of 168 hours in a week, we spend more than 50 hours with devices, said Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology at Iowa State University. Too much screen time and other inactive behaviors also have been linked to obesity risk, especially in children. Families should limit their screen time, beginning with limiting the number of devices they encounter daily. For example, I babysit this little boy and every time I go over to watch him he is glued to the iPad. I always suggest playing board games or going outside to play basketball but there is no luck. Some parents need to learn how to shut down the tablets off before bed time and limit the use. Every night before going to bed, I make sure my phone is on airplane mode, making sure I am not distracted by any notifications I am receiving and my television is shut off at a reasonable time. Gortmaker suggested throwing out extra screens, and not having them in your bedroom. Certainly, we need these devices, and there will never be a time where we will actually get rid of them, but let’s try limiting the amount of time we are using them and giving ourselves a break.
Howard, Jacqueline. “Americans at more than 10 hours a day on screens.” CNN, Cable News Network, 29 July 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/health/americans-screen-time-nielsen/index.html.