If you’ve been turning to your smartphone for connection to the outside world more than usual lately, you’re not alone.
iPhone users are accustomed to getting a “Weekly Screen Time Report” on Sundays. These provide stats about how much time people have spent looking at their phones over the last week. A notification of the report shows the percentage by which a person’s use was up or down compared to the previous week.
This week delivered a dose of reality about how social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic might be affecting our screen time. Across much of the country over the past week, people socially isolated themselves to slow the spread of coronavirus.
That’s good for the world’s health, but apparently bad for our relationship with our smartphones. Social media users bemoaned their skyrocketing screen time results, and some pointed out that it’s pretty! rude! of Apple to show how quarantining is affecting their iPhone dependency.
Oof. My screen time has DOUBLED from two weeks ago, before corona virus and life got turned upside down. No wonder my thumbs hurt. Gonna do my best to combat that this week.
— AvsAngelsChick🏒❤️💙🏴☠️⚾️ (@AvsAngelsChick) March 22, 2020
Prior to coronavirus my av. screen time was 4.5 hours daily mow’s it’s 12 fuckkkk
— oh hey (@pwi11yy) March 22, 2020
i don’t need apple to tell me how they’re preventing the spread of coronavirus—i need apple to not send out a screen time report this week
— Jill Gutowitz (@jillboard) March 14, 2020
Personally, my screen time was up 35 percent this week. That’s pretty huge considering my iPhone use is usually super consistent. Pre-coronavirus, I almost always spent between two hours and 2.5 hours on my iPhone per day. Last week’s average — the first week I and many people in the U.S. spent in voluntary self-quarantine — I clocked in at 4 hours and 11 minutes per day. That’s no surprise considering the amount of time I spent texting with friends and family I can’t see IRL. But still… Yikes!
However, my 35 percent spike is apparently downright restrained compared to a lot of you. Mashable conducted an *extremely scientific* Twitter poll to see how our followers’ screen time habits manifest in the time of social distancing. Of our 236 respondents, 75 percent said their screen time was up! What’s more, the winning response was that screen time had increased by between 50 and 100 percent. Very Online indeed!
Weekly iPhone Screen Time reports are in. After the first week of coronavirus stay-at-home orders in some cities and social distancing efforts nationwide, did your average screen time go up?
— Mashable (@mashable) March 22, 2020
We see you, the 22 percent of voters with more than a 100 percent increase in your daily screen time averages.
While our Twitter poll is clearly the definitive scientific word on this phenomenon, Mashable has reached out to Apple to learn whether it has collective stats about how iPhone users’ screen time went up across the board. We will update this article when and if we hear back.