Way back in 2021, we talked about my Mother’s refusal to get a smart phone. Many people responded that they couldn’t imagine not having a smart phone. I was one of those people- I definitely depend on a smart phone. But why do we depend on them so much? What are we doing that requires a cell phone? So obviously, I had to investigate.

To be clear: I own a smart phone (google), and ipad (apple) and a computer (asus). They each have a defined goal in my universe. I write on my computer, blog and any work in progress. I download my camera photos into my computer. I do spreadsheets in my computer (who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet?) Sometimes I do emails, if I know it’s going to be long. For the most part- this is what I use my computer for. I rarely use my computer to stream movies or TV shows.

As to my tablet: This is my in house go to. I was able to look at time spent and how thanks to the trackers at Apple. The vast majority of my time spent on ipad is on Nook (Barnes and Noble reading app), followed by WordPress (reading and commenting on blogs). Email (which includes News Alert emails) is third. New York Times crosswords is next. Then my calendar. I spend approximately six hours a day on my ipad- 5 1/2 of them on these five apps. I spend less than ten minutes a day on Facebook and Instagram. I spend about seven minutes a day playing Words with Friends. (I used to play more games but felt it was getting distracting so last year I cut out all games except words. I got a subscription to NY Times crossword- no regrets at all.) The other apps that I look at include Fandango, Goodreads and the Weather Channel. While I have about twenty other apps on my ipad, I only use them as necessary (Pet Smart, Amazon, Ticketmaster, Open Table, etc.)

As to my phone: First off, other than texting or actual phone calls, I don’t use my phone in the house- my smart phone usage is all when I’m our and about. I have very few apps on my phone. Nook, of course, because really, you don’t think I read on mass transit? Of course I have a few downloaded spotify playlists. I have any app that can hold a ticket: Fandango, Ticketmaster, Ballpark, Today’s Tix, etc. I have my personal email and my junk email (not my waking email) and while I monitor my email while I’m out, I rarely respond to an email. Same with wordpress- I may monitor comments, however I rarely respond to them while I’m out. I have insta and my calendar. Uber (which I personally have never used as I try not to take cabs- but have been in Uber with my daughter and husband), and then it’s pretty much the apps that come with the phone. I don’t search the internet. I don’t randomly do things. I take photos for my blog. I check directions, times, etc. I have a news scroll feature that gives me headlines and I do glance at them for anything interesting or breaking, but I don’t spend much time on the scroll. For the most part, I use my phone for reading off my nook app and listening to music.

So yes, I like being able to pull up a ticket on my phone, read on command, and get directions when I’m lost. My phone is very practical for me- it’s my digital assistant. My tablet makes my life easier, as does my computer. And yes, I would be lost without them. I totally rely on these three devices.

However…I don’t feel like these devices run my life- they just make certain things easier, more streamlined. I don’t randomly google things. I don’t wander around looking at memes or funny stories or whatever. When I open up one of my devices I have a specific intent. This is just me. I’m not a browser in physical stores (unless it’s books or stationary) and I don’t browse the internet.

The only thing that stymies me is Spotify. I listen to music at home, but the spotify usage is not counted. When I use spotify on my phone, I know it’s off downloaded play lists…but I couldn’t find any data on my devices as to how much spotify I use.

But enough about me:

How do you use your smart phone/tech devices?

Have you ever done a time audit as to the how much you use it and what you look at? Or listen to?

What do you do on your phone?

What apps do you use?

How much time do you spend on phones/tablets/computers?

Inquiring minds want to know

80 thoughts on “How Smart is Your Phone

  1. My iPad is my go to. I do practically everything on it as I have a Bluetooth keyboard; accounts, tracking and blog stuff. I have an iPhone12 which was a free upgrade from Telus this past year and use it for FaceTiming and messenger videoing – all of which I do everyday with someone – Scotland daily, New Zealand weekly, Horseshoe Valley weekly etc., although I do interchange it with my iPad. I have a very old mac book pro (hand me down from my son) I love to use but it is heavy and old enough that newer programs don’t work on it. It won’t use WP anymore – says it is not supported and have tried number of things to upgrade but…. But I like it for my actual writing of stories etc. I also have an equally old small Acer laptop that I keep by my bedside for writing somethings when sitting in be. For the most part it is used as a word processor as it is way to slow when connected to wifi. I have fallen in love with the new 13” MacBook Air – weighs almost nothing and so it is a dream to somehow get one of those this year. Last year was new iPhone. Year before iPad. So I think it would be nice to round out the family with this new addition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No smart phone here. Just a flip phone that I use for texts and calls. 100% of my computer work is done from the computer on my desk, including streaming movies, FB, blogging. e, mail, book work. I had a smart phone for a couple of months. My son has a smart phone, (we work together) and he tells me, it will regularly send him prompts about a host of things (including things he’s never looked up, just talked about with someone) No thank you. And no I am not a Luddite 🙂 Always enjoy these posts LA! DM

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I use my phone as a camera and a timer/alarm. The Life360 app lets my wife and me know where we are. When I needed a new phone, I stayed with a 4G Samsung brand. I sometimes get phone calls on it.

    The computer, Windows, is what I use to type blog posts, make comments like this one, search using the Brave browser and Duck Duck Go, send and receive emails through protonmail, modify photos through digiKam and read books (mostly pdf files). I still do read some real books as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve never given much thought to the apps that I use. I don’t own a tablet. I only have a laptop and a smartphone. However, I understand why your mother doesn’t want or need a smartphone. Some people, I believe, are content with the way things are.

    For example, I don’t like using a virtual calendar. I continue to use a paper calendar (two actually). And I’m not a fan of reading on a Kindle or a Nook. On occasion, I will listen to audiobooks or read from my library app.

    I might use this idea for a post on my blog. This was fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. No Apple products here, and nothing Windows related. My laptop is the main go-to for things- browsing, social, some shopping, anything financial, learning, streaming or casting to TV as I don’t have cable, even texting if I turn on messaging (that was more work related). A tablet for reading, rather Kindle purchases or library, and a few games for the granddaughters when they visit. My phone (an Android on the economical side) had work related apps which I cleared off the moment I left! I take pictures, text, check emails but don’t respond because my fingers will not cooperate to reply, and literally only use 2 other apps (grocery related). Of course there are loaded apps that I never use or need. I gravitate to using whatever device is easiest for what I’m doing, and that’s usually my laptop. As to usage in terms of time, I know I’m on the laptop more now that I’m home, but no matter what I’m doing I don’t monitor (or really care) about stats. On a side note-when I travel I will usually take the tablet along. It takes the place of my laptop and is a bit easier for me to navigate than the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The reality is that most people are very computer driven on varied levels, likely based on needs but also (I think) on familiarity with specific devices. The internet came to me on a big old clunky computer, so laptops, when they arrived, were my favored replacement. It’s a comfort thing. And I have no pressing reason to change. Doing everything on a phone is just another natural progression in technology.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Sorry, just another thought as I read through other comments and that is the idea of what do your smart devices really know about you, and what are they doing with that knowledge. I think you’ve written posts about this topic before, but like DM, and others have said, everyone knows everything today, especially if you are consistently connected to a device. I’m still shocked when Google starts sending me suggestions after an inadvertent click on something I didn’t even care about.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not sure there is a way to know how much you’re listening to Spotify – although you can retrieve what you listen to the most (artists, tracks, and genres). I use my mobile phone for all sorts of things, but given that I live in front of the computer for work, it’s not the swiss-army knife that it might be for many others. I use the bank app, the google pay app, email, instant messaging, the podcasts app, the browser, and sometimes the various social network apps. I have one game installed – chess. Oh – I also use Google Keep to record quick notes if I need to.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Technology…. My smartphone is too smart for its own good. I use it to text, make calls, work emails, Duo authentication, as my camera, navigation (I’m male so we don’t ask for directions), and it did warn me the other day I was possibly exposed to someone who came down with covid. The iPad is my goto at home choice, I use it for nearly everything, the Nook app, photo editing, journaling, research, I like the WP app (handles the blocks well), buying stuff. I own 2 old Apple minis that I never use. And I use the work computer for a couple of personal things, spreadsheets, and the WP Chrome App.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s just not your thing. If I pick the 70’s channel on Spotify it always starts with the same song and plays a predetermined sequence of songs. It’s like a mix tape. Maybe if I bought a subscription, that’s not happening

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I spend too much time on my iPad. I play three games every day, check email, read Facebook and Instagram, and watch card making videos. I’m reading a book on the Kindle app right now but use my Nook device as well. My laptop is for blogging, spreadsheets, Quicken, and I prefer it for writing emails. I Google things all the time on all three devices – iPhone, iPad, and laptop. I shop on my iPad or laptop; rarely on my phone except for restaurant orders. I don’t think I’m wasting time but I do often think I should be more productive with my time. Can’t imagine not having all three (or four, if you count the Nook).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The pandemic and cancer has upped my use of technology. Because of health issues and having to frequently isolate myself, I’m reduced to spending more time at home. Last year I bought a new iPad Pro with the capability to probably run the entire universe. This iPad pro does everything but breath!. My phone is old. It’s an iPhone 10 . It’s about time to upgrade but I use my iPad so much at home that I figured I could wait on a phone upgrade. I only buy apple products and they are expensive. But I like apple products. . My laptop, iPad Pro, phone etc. are all linked. So if I take a photo it’s on every device. If my phone rings my iPad rings. And I FaceTime on my iPad because everything is easier to see on my iPad.
    I use my iPad at home for everything. I read on my iPad since I am not using a library during a pandemic. I bring my iPad and read during chemo with it. I use my phone to track my steps, to play music, to shop on Amazon, take pics, to read or write on WordPress . Etc. since I am home more I use my technology more. I also use Seri to track my devices. I ask my phone to find my iPad Pro and I will ask my iPad to find my phone. ( there is a find my phone app.) yep, there’s an app for that. I love technology. If I could afford to upgrade yearly I would.I find technology fascinating.
    My laptop is old, a MacBook Pro that’s about 6 years old. My cat blew out the laptop speakers playing cat games with his paws. Yeah, he’s a tech nut too. So I only type on my laptop . But it needs replacing and I can’t afford to upgrade and spend two grand when my iPad will do the job just as well.
    I carry my phone in my back pocket at all times. While in cancer treatment I’ve fallen a few times from medication or chemo side affects and I need to be able to call my son or 911 at all times. Yes, a reality. I take my phone in the bathroom when I shower. I have passed out in the shower and so now I take the phone in with me. Technology has become my lifeline. I hate to bring anyone down but technology is a lifesaver. We poo poo it like it’s a bad thing. But,We need to be realistic about its uses. Certainly many young people overuse technology. But life during a pandemic is still rich and rewarding with our devices. I’ve seen the Louve on my iPad. I saw a Dior fashion exhibit in NYC from my iPad. And I’ve been saved by my phone several times.
    Oh yeah, I use my phone for reminders. Chemotherapy gives you chemo brain. You get forgetful or confused after chemo and telling your phone reminders helps while in treatment. I also set my wake up alarms on my phone. I do use it for a variety of jobs. I have apps on my phone to get instacart. And PayPal is on my iPad and iPhone.
    I can adjust myself to deal with or without anything. But having the convenience of technology in my pocket is a lovely bonus in my life right now.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for asking. Today not bad. It’s been a week since my last chemo so I am starting to feel less nauseous. In another week that should Improve and then the tongue blisters will pop out. BUT, if my next blood test looks good then my doctor will decide if I am ready to go on a new type of maintenance program. Here’s hoping I can do that. I’m sure I’ll also have to get a pet scan or ct scan. So I’m hoping that 2022 will go easier for me. G-d willing I can get a reprieve for a while. That would be great.
        Happy New Year! ❤️ Hope you are feeling better too.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. When I locked my purse in the car last weekend, I instantly felt helpless without my phone. But I remembered the old ways and used the store’s landline. 😅 I don’t have an iPad so I do everything on my phone including podcasting and blogging . I can also do that on my computer . I’ll often start the process on the phone and edit on the computer. I use the Google map when driving and look up products and availability before I go to stores . I use my phone a lot ! I don’t do as much Facebook as I used to . I’m also on Instagram and MeWe . No Tik Tok . My photos are kept on my phone . We still have a landline at home. I watch YouTube on my computer, but not movies . I think too much phone use has damaged my eyes .

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Like you I have the three devices and each has particular tasks. The laptop is mostly for work and study. The iPad is mostly used for reading and the phone is used for most other things. I play games on my phone occasionally but that’s usually limited to times when I’m not working. I use the navigation app when I’m driving, the calendar, all the main messaging apps, WordPress and the browser and camera on my phone and a few other things randomly too. I’ve cut down a lot on social media so there’s not so much of that now. Every so often I delete a bunch of apps that I’m not using – you can always reinstall them anyway. At one time I tried using the function to make my phone black and white to see if that would deter me from using it – it was too easy to turn on and off though 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi, I am an old commenter with a new blog. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I used to comment here as Kate. I would love to get a tablet. I really don’t like typing on my phone so I use my laptop when I have more typing to do.
    I haven’t figured out how to track how I spend my time online. I love words with friends and probably spend much more than 7 minutes daily.
    I use my phone as my alarm clock. I told myself I would stop after I accidentally dialed someone early in the morning struggling to turn it off.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I rely on my phone for everything: Goodreads, WordPress, YouTube, Twitter, notes, email, text, calls, shopping, research, and even reading ebooks sometimes. I can’t live without it, and I’m hoping to use it less this year because it’s distracting. 😆 I used to read in my kindle, and blog on my computer, but my new iPhone pro can pretty much do everything all in one. It sure is convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Of all of my immediate family members, I use my phone the least. My go to is always my laptop. I cannot stand trying to type on my tiny phone screen (in part because mine is wonky for some reason and is really hard to type one which was never an issue with older touch screen phones). Most of what I do is done on my computer. My phone is almost solely used for texts and calls, though I will grab it if my computer isn’t handy. Everyone else uses their phones almost constantly, whether they are home or out. For the kids especially, it is whatever is the most popular app at the time and texting in all the various ways to communicate. My Hubby is all over the map as he uses his phone for both personal and work. The only thing my computer doesn’t get a workout on is reading. That is exclusively my tablet.

    If we look past the immediate family to my extended, you can’t get my FIL or SIL to even turn their phones on unless they need to send a text or make a call. Then the stupid thing goes right back off the second they hit send or disconnect the call. It is absolutely annoying and ridiculous. I doubt either one of them has even opened anything factory installed on their phones (if they even have smartphones, something I’m not even sure about at this point) let alone installed anything new.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I use my phone a lot, but I chose not to have data outside the house. Inside, the phone is on WiFi. It’s wonderful to take a quick glance at email, the blog, and a game or so. I text with grandson David when he is on break at work. Almost everything else takes place on the desktop or laptop.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I bought a cheap android smartphone with a $100 talk and text annual plan – that’s how little I use my cellphone – it’s just for emergencies like being stuck on the side of the road, or the odd text or phone call when I’m out and about and running late or want to order a pizza to pick up on the way home, or use a Michael’s coupon. I have a 6 year old Asus laptop, which I write, blog and check emails on, and I’m probably on it about 3 hours a day max, unless I’m deep into a writing project when it might be 6 hours. My laptop is small – 13 inches so I never felt the need to get an IPad, and I hate swiping – I type really fast (4 years of typing in high school as no spares were allowed), so swiping is slow and annoying to me. I read books in book form as a preference, although if we’re ever allowed to travel again I may install an app for reading. I don’t watch movies online either, and just recently signed up for Netflix. I guess you could say, I’m a technology-lite kind of gal.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We use our iphones all the time for directions since we’ve moved. We were talking about how we used to have a Thompson’s guide in the car and maps. Those are long gone. But I don’t necessarily think it’s good for our brain’s to rely on the phone for directions all the time — or for phone numbers. I used to have a rolodex in my head. I feel it’s all mush now.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Time to reveal the truth, I spend too much time on my phone probably. But… not always, it depends on the day and what I am doing. I don’t have an Ipad , just my phone and desktop computer. I do not watch movies or shows either on my phone, screen too small. I use my phone mainly for texting and for WP. I do post comments on other blogs and respond to comments on my phone because honestly if I didn’t, I wouldn’t converse with followers as much. I don’t use our desktop computer much. I am not one to surf the net either, if I am on the phone there is a reason. I also use my phone for my Audible books for when I am working around the house.

    I love how the phone can connect me to friends far away and to my sisters through texting, but I do have to be careful of not overusing it. With Covid though I was very thankful for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. A cellphone is very convenient, but I really don’t do much on it. I have all the apps, but according to the tracker thing, I average about three hours per week or day (I don’t know which one it calculates). Either one isn’t bad to me. I still feel more comfortable doing online banking, blogging, etc. on a desktop or laptop.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I use my phone (samsung) to take photos (my phone surpassed the quality of the photo I used to take on $150 prosumer canon G15 (which I am selling to a friend for $25), photo apps Snapseed & Mirror Lab and upload photos and photos of my art to WordPress, text family and friends and make the occasional important phone call (rarely do I ever casually call someone), listen to podcasts on Spotify, music on YouTube Music or The BBC Sound App usually while at work or driving home from work, I have a google chrome laptop that I rarely use… essentially it’s a back up device, I have a Google chrome tablet that I use to write, comment & read WordPress, record my podcast on, order food & grocery delivery on, do most of my shopping on (except for books they have to be physical), Check out Fandango, IMDb, Wikipedia, watch subscribed YouTube channels and am an active commenter… essentially I am on my tablet more than my smart phone (which took me years to finally get)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well we don’t have cable (I haven’t had cable since 2003) we watch either shows on DVD or On Hulu/Disney. My tv is on about an hour a night, three nights a week.. slightly more on weekends when we watch a rented movie as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I prefer it if I am being honest..most people would say oh but you are being tracked, eh..I got nothing to hide and besides your essentially being tracked everywhere. I like that I never run out of space on the cloud. Prior to chrome I was on Windows 10 on an Asus desktop…that shit ran slow, had constant windows issues and was prone to the occasional virus.. I haven’t had any of those problems with Chromebook. I am content. I also used to have an Amazon Kindle but that had major lack of battery. More bang for my buck on this tablet. I love it.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Alright. It’s somewhat similar, iPad for reading and watching shows, the latter sometimes, traveling, is great for the plane. Computer, way too much to type, lets just say it is for work – tons o’spreadsheets, writing, blogging. Phone, music, texting, social media, and blogging. Of course pics also. I don’t use many apps. In order of time spent – computer, phone, iPad. That’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I burned through a number of laptops before migrating back to a desktop computer. I need a real workhorse to cope with heavy use – work, writing, blogging, photography, social media, the works. My tablet (iPad) is my Zoom tool of choice, and is used mainly for my life coaching sessions. My iPhone – in addition to being my tool for online access on the go, is my diary, my map/GPS, and I use it to handle emails on the go – predominantly work ones, as everything else can wait. It’s text/WhatsApp for those who prefer, but I also use it to make calls – as I’m old fashioned in liking phone calls.

    I use social media for marketing my coaching services, for sharing my photography and my writing. I’ve had to remove all the games as they eat up too much time. I shudder to think how much time I spend on one or other device!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I couldn’t imagine not having my smart phone. My music and podcast playlists are on it. My social media and news apps. Easy to check email without signing onto a computer. Pull up Google in a sec. It’s just so convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This is great that you don’t waste time on social media. I use my phone a lot because im at home a lot. I use my laptop to watch movies and tv shows (but not too much) and to work on my novella and on my shops and check my business email. My phone is filled with apps, games for my son, and some for me but I rarely play them. I spend most of my time on WordPress reading blogs and some time on YouTube, tiktok and Instagram. I have more than 200 apps on my phone, some for productivity. My weekday average is 6 hours a day on my phone and my weekend average is 3 hours a day on my phone. There are days I don’t even open my laptop. I do surf the web sometimes but not much.

    Like

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