Study: Average Person Checks Phone 34 Times a Day

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Are you one of those people who obsessively checks their phone for new email or social network updates? If so, you’re not alone. A new study has found that the average person checks their phone 34 times a day, often without even realizing it.

"It's extremely common, and very hard to avoid," Loren Frank, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, told CNN. "We don't even consciously realize we're doing it -- it's an unconscious behavior."

The study, published in the journal Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, found that the average person checks his or her smartphone repeatedly, often as much as 34 times a day, with most checks occurring 10 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds or less. People habitually check their phone, not because they’re dying to read new email or Faceboo updates, but because it’s a compulsion or habit. People form this habit, Frank says, because they enjoy the feeling a new email brings.

"Each time you get an e-mail, it's a small jolt, a positive feedback that you're an important person," he said. "It's a little bit of an addiction in that way."

Though it may not seem like much, obsessively checking your phone can pose a number of problems. It’s rude, it annoys family and friends, it can be stressful, and it makes it difficult to focus on whatever it was you were doing before you picked up the phone. Not only that, but habitual checking is also a way to avoid interacting with family and friends and put off necessary tasks.

"People don't like thinking hard," said Clifford Nass, a professor of communication and computer science at Stanford University. Nass says checking one’s phone "is an attempt to not have to think hard, but feel like you're doing something."

Do you obsessively check your phone? Click here for a few tips on how to break the habit.


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