How Smart is Your Phone

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