In FYS 142, we completed a total of 9 digital activities that were assigned in class. If there would have been a 10th digital activity, it should have been to track your smartphone usage for a day, or your overall technology usage. While the survey in the beginning of the year asked the students to estimate the type of media they consume and the amount of exposure, we never actually tracked usage. While there are several applications that can track your phone’s activity, any iPhone user can simply find their battery usage in settings under battery usage. I decided to try this experiment for myself. I continued to use my smartphone during the past 24 hours and in settings, I found my results for the last 24 hours, as well as over the past 7 days. According to the results, I have used Safari for 1 hour (which makes up 25% of my phone usage) and 7 hours in the last 7 days (26%). The other two major applications used were Snapchat and Instagram. I have used Snapchat for 30 minutes in the last 24 hours and Instagram 28 minutes during the 24 hour period. Those three applications make up for about 60% of my phone usage over the 7 day period. According to the data, I have spent about two hours on my phone in the last 24 hours; this number does not include music which is considered background usage.
According to an article from the Huffington Post, young adults use their phones an average of 5 hours a day, about 1/3 of their waking hours. These numbers are astonishing and show how smartphones have transformed society. Although smartphones are largely used for communication with others via call, text, and social media, they are making our society less productive. Whenever my smartphone is out of battery or in another room, I am more productive. There are fewer distractions preventing me from completing assignments. I tend to notice more around me when I am not using my phone. I think that my experiment will be a wake-up call for me and will allow me to be more conscious of my cell phone usage, thus making me a more productive and observant individual.