If our statistics are correct, you're most likely on your smartphone right now (and probably on the toilet as well, for which we are judging you).
You also almost certainly checked your phone within 15 minutes of waking up this morning. You'll probably look at it another 84 times today. And before you go to sleep, you'll no doubt risk your health and vision by checking it before you go to sleep.
It's OK. We understand. Smartphones are great (well, except when they're not). But according to the New York Times, they're a problem, so this week the news outlet decided to remind us just how much of our lives we're wasting on these stupid, pointless supercomputers that connect us to our friends, loved ones, and the sum of all human knowledge to date.
In 2018, they report, the average American smartphone user spent 1,460 hours looking at their device. That's 61 full 24-hour days per person, or more than 91 days if you assume eight hours of sleep per night – basically meaning we spend the equivalent of every waking second between April 1 and June 30 on our phones.
Are you ashamed? The New York Times thinks you should be. During that time, they point out, you could:
- circumnavigate the globe by bicycle! (if you're a world-class long-distance professional cycler. The article notes that "average humans" wouldn't be able to do this.)
- learn two languages! (for the purposes of this article please assume the many highly successful language-learning apps such as Duolingo or Busuu are not a thing that exists.)
- read 20 books! (please also ignore the existence of all those e-book apps, and the fact that people who use them actually already read more than that.)
But those aren't the statistics that set social media abuzz. There was another smartphone alternative the NYT recommended. And it recommended rather a lot of it.
16,000 times. SIXTEEN THOUSAND TIMES.
That's *counts on fingers* FORTY-FOUR TIMES A DAY.
Now, hopefully at least, you're currently wondering how it's possible to dance the horizontal tango on repeat every 22 minutes (we're allowing time to sleep, but not eat or poop, keep your head in the game son.)
Luckily, NYT has shown their workings. In the optimistically-titled "Love" section of the article, the column author explains that they're "assuming you’re like most Americans and your lovemaking sessions last an average of 5.4 minutes, not counting foreplay." Sexy.
But apart from a few outliers ...
... most people had the same reaction.
Many commenters pointed out that, you know, it wasn't that long ago that nobody had a smartphone. The world didn't live in a permanent state of industrial-level bad sex before the 21st century.
And some knew their limits.
But for many people, the promise of a frankly injurous amount of lovemaking every day simply wasn't enticing enough for them to give up their phones.
Especially since, well:
But ultimately, we all know smartphones aren't going anywhere.
So maybe – just maybe – there's a compromise.