Americans now spend more time on mobile devices than watching TV

midian182

Posts: 6,286   +53
Staff member

If there’s anything that better illustrates the increasing popularity of mobile devices, it’s this: for the first time ever, US consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than they are watching TV.

The data comes from a new report by EMarketer Inc., which found that the average US adult will spend 3 hours and 43 minutes (3:43) on mobile devices every day in 2019. That’s slightly above the 3:35 they’ll spend watching television.

Around 70 percent (2:55) of consumer mobile-use time will be spent on smartphones, marking a 9-minute increase compared to last year. Tablet use, meanwhile, is at 1:08, a decline from the 1:11 peak in 2017.

“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising," said Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst.

US consumers’ television viewing habits have changed drastically compared to five years ago. In 2014, the population spent 4:20 per day watching TV, almost two hours more than the time spent on mobile devices.

According to the findings, most mobile time is spent using apps (2:57), while people spend 0:26 in a mobile web browser. The most commonly used apps are those that provide digital audio, such as streaming music services and podcast providers. Social media apps are the second most popular.

The trend of less TV and more mobile use is expected to continue over the coming years but at a slower pace, likely due to people's concerns over spending too much time on phones.

EMarketer says its media forecast is based on an analysis of 2,265 metrics from 130 sources.

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Fearghast

Posts: 292   +191
"If there’s anything that better illustrates the increasing popularity of mobile devices, it’s this: for the first time ever, US consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than they are watching TV."
That is just wrong.
It does not illustrate "increasing popularity" but it illustrates increasing disgust of people who watch the TV and the whole "on demand" nature.
Much more complex topic, than you are trying to present.
 

Hexic

Posts: 834   +992
In retrospect, I watch TV on my phone. Sling TV, a cheaper TV service that would normally be replaced by DirecTV - is the best option for now. I just Chromecast it to my television. I wonder how much situations such as my own play into these reported metrics.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,480   +3,131
"If there’s anything that better illustrates the increasing popularity of mobile devices, it’s this: for the first time ever, US consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than they are watching TV."
That is just wrong.
It does not illustrate "increasing popularity" but it illustrates increasing disgust of people who watch the TV and the whole "on demand" nature.
Much more complex topic, than you are trying to present.
I'd argue it's boredom in all other forms of entertainment. TV is trash now, I remember when the history channel had real content on it. Scifi is the ancient aliens channel and then we have the video game industry. Games aren't about fun anymore, they're about squeezing as much money out of you as they can. The era of being able to come home, play video games and not spend money is essentially over.

What alternative do we have? I honestly spend most of my time on my phone now either trolling my Facebook friends, scrolling through memes or refreshing techspot to see if anything changes.

If I'm not on my phone I'm out riding my bike listening to music that came out 20+ years ago because new music is trash too
 
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elementalSG

Posts: 136   +134
Where does the average American find 7 hours and 18 min per day to do all this screen time?? (3:43 on smartphones and 3:35 watching TV)
 
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Fearghast

Posts: 292   +191
"If there’s anything that better illustrates the increasing popularity of mobile devices, it’s this: for the first time ever, US consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than they are watching TV."
That is just wrong.
It does not illustrate "increasing popularity" but it illustrates increasing disgust of people who watch the TV and the whole "on demand" nature.
Much more complex topic, than you are trying to present.
I'd argue it's boredom in all other forms of entertainment. TV is trash now, I remember when the history channel had real content on it. Scifi is the ancient aliens channel and then we have the video game industry. Games aren't about fun anymore, they're about squeezing as much money out of you as they can. The era of being able to come home, play video games and not spend money is essentially over.

What alternative do we have? I honestly spend most of my time on my phone now either trolling my Facebook friends, scrolling through memes or refreshing techspot to see if anything changes.

If I'm not on my phone I'm out riding my bike listening to music that came out 20+ years ago because new music is trash too
I would argue that quality is still there, but the amount of garbage increased exponentionaly - when it comes to games, that is.
I personally could not care less for Destiny 5, Call of Battlefield 13, Battleroyal X or Y, but I look for talented, smaller developers.
Yesterday I tried to play Destiny 2, I was walking in that soulless, static world, shooting everything that moves, there was epic, grand soundtrack playing ... and I was bored of my mind. But give me League of Legends with my friend and his wife, gems like Rime, Torment, Pillars and you got me hooked for hours.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,317   +2,061
I think a lot of this has to do with the current state of child-rearing too. I can't tell you how many times I've been in restaurants, malls, even parks and seen a parent who has shoved a phone or tablet into a kid's face to keep them occupied.

We've had two generations now of kids raised with a "if you want to feel good, look at your phone" mentality.
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,748   +6,376
All those folks have finally figured out that the quality of TV these days is simply the pits. Add that to the splitting streaming availability and you really just don't have a choice. The streaming providers better be paying attention to this one or they will go the same way the cable companies are ......
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,273   +3,603
So much wrong with this..

You can watch TV on your phone but you can't do most phone stuff on your TV, and even if you could why would you? Most younger people (although I can't fathom this) apparently half-watch TV while still obsessively playing with their phones. Is their need for constant distraction really that bad? I don't think its possible to get accurate estimates of TV-vs-phone at this point.
 
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ckm88

Posts: 372   +259
So much wrong with this..

You can watch TV on your phone but you can't do most phone stuff on your TV, and even if you could why would you? Most younger people (although I can't fathom this) apparently half-watch TV while still obsessively playing with their phones. Is their need for constant distraction really that bad? I don't think its possible to get accurate estimates of TV-vs-phone at this point.
My fiancee does this. I just threaten to not talk to her or completely ignore her until she apologizes for 'not hearing me'. I'm not going to keep double and triple and quadruple repeating myself.
 
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Fearghast

Posts: 292   +191
So much wrong with this..

You can watch TV on your phone but you can't do most phone stuff on your TV, and even if you could why would you? Most younger people (although I can't fathom this) apparently half-watch TV while still obsessively playing with their phones. Is their need for constant distraction really that bad? I don't think its possible to get accurate estimates of TV-vs-phone at this point.
As one of the ADHD "blessed" people I can assure you it's not that hard. It becomes even easier when one of the "contents" serves as nearly a background, screen saver or simply as a white noise.
Kids these days are raised as multitaskers. As an "older" person I find quite fascinating to watch my two kids - one is ADHD as well and the other one is not.
 

Ean Mogg

Posts: 162   +74
Last I heard the ophthalmic industry is having a boom time selling glasses to Smartphone users and they don't warn the users of the dangers of using smartphones shame users are not as smart as the Ophthalmic industry ..
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,569   +3,749
Omg. America spend all day to look at screen. Maybe why America having reputation to being fat
:laughing:
That's why many Americans are called "Couch Potatoes" - and I can say that, I am an American.:laughing:
All those folks have finally figured out that the quality of TV these days is simply the pits. Add that to the splitting streaming availability and you really just don't have a choice. The streaming providers better be paying attention to this one or they will go the same way the cable companies are ......
So much wrong with this..

You can watch TV on your phone but you can't do most phone stuff on your TV, and even if you could why would you? Most younger people (although I can't fathom this) apparently half-watch TV while still obsessively playing with their phones. Is their need for constant distraction really that bad? I don't think its possible to get accurate estimates of TV-vs-phone at this point.
IMO, I cannot say that ALL TV these days is trash. I am very selective, and there are shows that I like and find very entertaining. Those shows tend, IMO, to be smart and intellectual.

However, one of my co-workers watches TV while on his smartphone. With people like that, it is no wonder to me that people are saying they spend more time on their smart phones.

A couple of months ago, I bought a smartphone for a plan that has no data. I just do not see myself having so much extra time to waste that I would be permanently glued to my phone.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,569   +3,749
Last I heard the ophthalmic industry is having a boom time selling glasses to Smartphone users and they don't warn the users of the dangers of using smartphones shame users are not as smart as the Ophthalmic industry ..
Just be sure to get the blue blocker coating...
 

treetops

Posts: 3,065   +784
"If there’s anything that better illustrates the increasing popularity of mobile devices, it’s this: for the first time ever, US consumers are using their smartphones and tablets more than they are watching TV."
That is just wrong.
It does not illustrate "increasing popularity" but it illustrates increasing disgust of people who watch the TV and the whole "on demand" nature.
Much more complex topic, than you are trying to present.
I'd argue it's boredom in all other forms of entertainment. TV is trash now, I remember when the history channel had real content on it. Scifi is the ancient aliens channel and then we have the video game industry. Games aren't about fun anymore, they're about squeezing as much money out of you as they can. The era of being able to come home, play video games and not spend money is essentially over.

What alternative do we have? I honestly spend most of my time on my phone now either trolling my Facebook friends, scrolling through memes or refreshing techspot to see if anything changes.

If I'm not on my phone I'm out riding my bike listening to music that came out 20+ years ago because new music is trash too
My parents used to listen to the "oldies station". Now all the rock they play on the radio should be considered oldies...

However I'm still finding old stuff I didn't know about like these maniacs. Their concerts were known to start riots. John Belushi got them on SNL.
Then I found a few new bands like RIVR. I'd rather here the radio full of new rock that I hate then the same stale music from 20+ years ago. At least then I would know I hate it because I'm old.

I like having my pc or phone near by while I'm watching tv shows\movies so I can look up the news through the slow parts or randomly google fu.

p.s. There are plenty of great tv shows still running or just beginning.
What we do in the shadows
Tacoma FD
Warren
Its always sunny in Philadelphia
The reluctant landlord
I feel bad
I'm Sorry
Corporate
Super Wog (so stupid but I like it)
LetterKenny

Chernobyl

The Terror
Legion

Archer
Rick and Morty
Legends of Chamberlain Heights

To a lesser extent
Happy
Twilight zone (hopefully it gets better)
Moonshiners

I'm currently rewatching Deadwood and trying to get into the handmaids tale. While reading the Grapes of Wraith. And constantly checking the news lol.
 
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