Tech Tips

Americans aren’t taking a break from their phones

Part of being a technology industry leader is knowing when and how people use their devices. The short answer? All the time, and a LOT.

The longer answer can be found in our latest research, profiled by USA Today, which explores how Americans use their phones while traveling. (Spoiler: We’re on our phones during vacation just as much as during our regular day-to-day life.) Here’s a closer look:

Friends and family are the biggest factors, with more than 46 percent saying they want to stay connected with friends and family or to share their experiences. In second place, nearly 20 percent said that their phones help them to be a smart tourist and get around unfamiliar locations.

Mentally, it can be difficult to take a break from social media even while lounging poolside, and Americans agree – with 68 percent admitting they check social media when on vacation.

And Americans will go to extreme lengths to get cell phone reception or squeeze in more screen time. Nearly half of respondents reported tripping or bumping into things on vacation because they were too distracted with their phones. And more than 10 percent reported missing their vacation destination while traveling because they were focused on their phone screens.

Tips for helping you find phone-life balance

So, for those looking to just catch a break from their phone while on vacation, Asurion Experts offer the following suggestions to help find life-phone balance while staying connected:

  1. Set your phone on Do Not Disturb for select hours when you don’t want to be contacted. This allows you to use your phone when you really need to, while blocking calls that distract you from your vacation. This can be done on iPhone by going to Settings > Do Not Disturb. Android users can activate Do Not Disturb by going to Settings > Sounds and Vibration > Do Not Disturb. From there, you can pre-schedule how long you want the DND setting in effect, and allow repeat callers to get through (in case of emergency).
  2. You can also block out everyone while still allowing for crucial calls and texts from your closest friends and family. Under the Do Not Disturb setting, iPhone users can allow their “Favorites” list to get through. Android users can create a custom list of friends and family who can reach them.

Need extra help weaning yourself from checking your phone too often?

There are many apps available to help users break their screen dependency and reduce distractions.

Americans aren't taking a break from their phones

Forest uses gamification to help you break the screen habit by setting a timeframe when you don’t want to use your phone. The app plants a digital seedling that slowly grows into a tree. The tree withers if you check your phone before your time is up.

Americans aren't taking a break from their phones

Flipd removes your phone distractions by locking you out of your phone apps during a timeframe that you designate. Or it can also do a “light lock,” which encourages you to stay off your phone, but still allows you to use it if you want to.

You can also manually move all your phone apps into one digital folder on your phone. By not seeing the apps, you’ll be less distracted and tempted to use them, but will still be able to use them if you need to.