“Unplugging,” the act of deliberately turning off your phone, the TV, and other personal technology devices for a period of time to digitally detox, can be challenging today as tech plays a prominent role in many Americans’ daily lives and jobs. As a result, CivicScience took a pulse on U.S. adults to better understand who’s unplugging and how long they do so. 

Who’s Unplugging?

Survey data show that nearly a third of American adults “unplug” for at least two hours daily, not including while sleeping, which is equivalent to the percentage of those who ‘never / almost never unplug.’

As age increases, so does the percentage of adults who unplug at least weekly. Those aged 55+ are the most likely to unplug daily (40%), and those aged 18-24 are the most likely to never unplug (39%). 

Women are more likely than men to unplug at least every week, and men are more likely than women to never unplug.

Employment situation could be associated with how often U.S. adults intentionally unplug from technology. Fully remote workers are the least likely to unplug daily (14%), in-person workers are the most likely to unplug daily (29%), and hybrid workers sit in the middle (21%). Interestingly, remote workers are also the most likely to engage in ‘quiet quitting,’ a term used to describe those who don’t want to go above and beyond at work, possibly to achieve a better work/life balance.

On a similar note, daily unpluggers are roughly three times less likely to be currently experiencing job burnout than those who unplug weekly.

How Does Device Addiction Impact Americans? 

With the increased use of consumer technology in many outlets, CivicScience surveyed U.S. adults on digital device addiction. Survey results show that 48% say they call themselves addicted to their devices (computers, smartphones, etc.), and 52% say they’re not addicted.

Device addiction could play a role in well-being, in terms of feeling happy and stressed. Non-digitally addicted Americans are more likely to report feeling happy and less likely to say they’re stressed than those who say they’re addicted to their devices. 

Experts say electronic use can impact sleep quality. Survey results show that more than half of non-digitally addicted adults say they get enough sleep (55%), compared to less than half of digitally addicted adults who say the same (45%).

With technology evolving, will fewer Americans unplug and be more addicted to their devices? Or, will people make an increased effort to digitally detox? CivicScience will continue to monitor these trends.