The idea of intentionally turning off personal tech devices has been a topic of increased discussion in recent years. From better sleep to decreased stress, there are countless reasons why many recommend “unplugging” for a few hours each day, but are Americans really interested in disconnecting?
As it turns out, 34% of U.S. adults unplug daily and the number of people who never unplug has actually been decreasing – which indicates that a desire to turn off devices could be going up.
From a demographic viewpoint, women more than men and grandparents more than parents and non-parents are the most likely to be unplugging every day. People among some of the highest-earning income brackets don’t unplug at the same rate as any other earners. Instead, they say they almost never (or never) unplug to the tune of 42%.
CivicScience tracking has shown reported device addiction ebbs and flows, possibly related to seasonal changes. The data typically show a spike in device addiction in Q2, as winter and spring officially close up shop making way for summer, followed by a drop in reported addiction in Q3, prime summer and vacation time. This year, however, device addiction peaked in Q4 2020 and then dropped at the start of 2021 only to remain low throughout Q2.
If that doesn’t tell the story of overall activity levels of Americans thawing from a seemly endless pandemic, it is hard to say what does.
Perhaps not surprisingly, those without children consider themselves the most addicted. And those who are most addicted also spend the most amount of time on social media.
Even though Americans say they are less addicted than they were at the start of the year, eye strain has increased from 3% in January to 5% today.
And those who are addicted to devices don’t seem to be much more interested in helping their eyes through bluelight-blocking glasses than people who don’t claim addiction to their devices.
So while one-third of Americans are unplugging daily and device addiction has decreased, there is a chance it’s more related to all the options they now have outside their homes than to the negative effects of being glued to a screen.