Digital Detox: Staggering Statistics Prove It's Time To Look Up, Unplug And Live

The unobtrusive yet inexorable use of the smartphone has raised a barrage of questions. The screen time hit me like a thousand volts in 2021 and since then I have consciously tried to avoid the consistent and constant use of the phone.

Radhika Dhingra
Updated On
New Update
Digital Detox
Moments have become ‘Phoments’ as there is always a chasm to be crossed. Cherry-picked the data for some mind-boggling revelations and soul-searching realisations.

1. Research reveals that an average person checks the phone every 6.30 min in a 16-hour waking cycle.

2. Two out of every three people are addicted to their phones.

3. There is a 39% increase in the number of hours people spend on their smartphones in the year 2022.

4. The average smartphone owner unlocks the phone 150 times a day.

5. A recent survey conducted by a cartoon channel in India revealed that 95% of kids live in homes with mobile phones.

6. 62 % of people take phone calls, text messages, browse the internet or answer emails sitting on the WC.


7. 89 % of teenagers use their cell phones during an in-person conversation.

8. 37 % sleep with their phone or laptop in bed while browsing the internet.

9. 33.3 % of people check their phones in the middle of the night.

10. A recent survey has found that one in 10 people admit to checking their phones during intimate moments.

11. Screen addiction is now the number one most pervasive non-drug addiction in society.

Why Digital Detox Matters Now More Than Ever


Did you feel quite discombobulated reading these facts? If yes, then let me tell you I have just scratched the surface. For those of us inhabiting a parallel virtual universe or treating smartphones as the smartest device to manage our life, treat this as a wake-up call because you are being fooled in a way that you cannot even imagine.

The knack of being in the ‘here and now’ and ‘there and then’ and checking notifications has caused some serious mental health damage. We are collectively part of the unique hell where we know that Nomophobia (Phobia used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity) is real. Phubbing (Phubbing is the act of snubbing someone you’re talking with in person in favour of your phone) is not a joke.

Take my kidney, but don’t take my phone. There is a reason why China has opened 300 teenage boot camps imposing a strict digital detox to deal with increasing problems of teen internet addiction and computer addiction. US school board sues Meta over social media addiction. In recent news, a 9-year-old ‘Insta Queen’ dies by suicide in Tamil Nadu after her parents chided her to study.

For school children, smartphone addiction has become an epidemic. We operate our lives on the phone, and we cannot blithely disregard what children are trying to emulate. A ponderous majority is trapped like a Genie in a bottle. It is a professional/ personal expectation to be prompt with messages and emails. If you don’t reply you are losing a relationship. We have multiple digital leashes or channels to be constantly connected.

We are more connected than ever before but never felt lonelier. Our children are becoming digital hermits, they do not see the need to socialise. Our relationships have replaced the comfort of touch and eye contact with WhatsApp messages. Every event, every discussion, and every heart-to-heart conversation is interrupted by the screen. And in our enormity of trying to become more, we are miserably failing at every end because we are losing out on moments.

The unobtrusive yet inexorable use of the smartphone has raised a barrage of questions. The screen time hit me like a thousand volts in 2021 and since then I have consciously tried to avoid the consistent and constant use of the phone. From 6.5 hours of screen time during the lockdown, I have got it down to 2.5 hours. It is unrealistic to pull the plug entirely but bringing it down has made a tremendous difference in the quality of my life.


Few things that worked for me;

1. Greyscale: Turning the phone display to greyscale makes it look less attractive and leads to less usage.

2. Turning the notification off. I’m no more the Pavlovian dog. The stimulus that triggers the use of the phone has been shut down and it helps tremendously.

3. Setting rules: No Phone post 9 PM is a new family rule.

4. ON/OFF social media: A week active is followed by a week inactive on any social media medium.

5. Scheduling time away from the screen throughout the day.

With the excessive use of smartphones, we are already walking on the razor edge. For purposeful and lasting relationships to thrive one has to be fully present at the moment.

I’m wounded by the realisation that one day we will be losing out on people, relationships, opportunities to network, an exchange of heartfelt smiles, and a word of encouragement because we were too busy checking the phone.

Life’s most beautiful moments would never occur looking down on the screen.  Time to look up, unplug and live.

Suggested reading: Digital Detox: Know How It Helps These Bizwomen

social media digital detox digital media