Connected or consumed? American’s self-view on phone use
August 30th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Connected or consumed? American’s self-view on phone use

In an era where the glow of a cell phone screen is often the first morning greeting and the last nightly farewell, how do Americans feel about their own relationship with these devices? And are these sentiments influenced by gender? Delving into the numbers from a recent YouGov survey, we uncover some intriguing patterns in the nation's mobile habits.

Half of Americans say they use their cell phones just the right amount. Of these, 53% of men say they strike the right balance with their mobile device usage but this sentiment dips slightly for women at 46%.

However, the gender difference is even more pronounced when we look at perceptions of overuse. Over one-third of American women say they use their cell phones too much (37%). In contrast, this sentiment is expressed by more than a quarter of men (28%). Interestingly, when it comes to the perception of underusing their phones, both genders are almost neck and neck, with about one in 12 Americans feeling they use their phones too sparingly (8% and 7%).

But are Americans are taking active steps to curtail their cell phone usage? Close to one-third of all Americans say they were making efforts to reduce their screen time (31%). Of these, one in three women are proactive in their approach to lessen their phone use compared to about three in ten men (34% vs. 28%). Yet, a majority remains unworried or unbothered by their current mobile habits. Specifically, 57% of men and 53% of women have no current intentions of altering their mobile behavior.

Overarching trends reflect a majority of Americans – irrespective of gender – feel they have struck a harmonious balance in their digital interactions. In a society that's continually wired and constantly connected, this balance becomes paramount. As mobile technology evolves, so too will our perceptions and behaviors, but for now, the majority remains in comfortable stasis with their screens.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 580 to 1,455. All surveys were conducted online in June 2023. Data from US market uses a nationally representative sample. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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