Survey finds we’re hooked on Facebook mobile

Is your smartphone never more than arm’s length away? Feeling addicted to Facebook? You’re not alone. A new survey has found that the average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times a day, and most people check their phone immediately upon waking up in the morning.

The report, conducted by IDC Research and sponsored by Facebook, studied mobile phone habits and social connectedness, and the results seem to support what a lot of us are feeling: We’re addicted to our smartphones. But most seem to take that as a positive thing: “Rather than feeling overwhelmed by it, we enjoy and value this increased social connectedness,” IDC said.

IDC conducted the survey among 7,446 people between the ages of 18 and 44, and studied their mobile phone habits — on both iPhone and Android devices — over a week in March.

Half of the U.S. population uses smartphones, IDC said, and 70 percent of those use Facebook on their phones, making it the No. 3 smartphone activity, behind email (78 percent) and web browsing (73 percent). Sixty-one percent said they use their phone to check Facebook every day.

Among the other findings:

— Seventy-nine percent reach for their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning, and 62 percent reach for it first thing. Those numbers rise to 89 percent and 74 percent, respectively, among 18-to-24-year-olds.

— Those polled checked Facebook on their phones an average of 13.8 times a day, for 2 minutes, 22 seconds per visit — about a half hour a day.

— People use Facebook everywhere, even where they’re not supposed to: 46 percent said they check Facebook while shopping and running errands; 47 percent when they’re eating out; 48 percent while working out; 46 percent in meetings or class; and a whopping 50 percent while at the movies.

— When on Facebook, most people are mostly reading their News Feed (82 percent) and reading or posting comments (49 percent). Thirty-seven percent visit friends’ Timelines, 33 percent message friends, and 16 percent play games.

Does that sound about right? How often are you checking Facebook on your phone? Share your comments below.


Photo by Karen Bleier /AFP/Getty Images



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  • Facebook is definately not on my list of addictions. I can think of a lot better activities to be addicted to, how about spending more time working or studying just for starters?

  • sd

    George Carlin did a bit where he suggested that anyone on the highway driving slower than you was an idiot, and anyone going faster than you was a moron. I fear we’re approaching the same kind of judgement here: anyone who spends less time on the Internet than I do is a technophobe and anyone who spends more time on the Internet than I do is addicted.

    Can we all just agree that people have different interests and temperaments and schedules and ways of achieving their social goals and not label others’ behavior based on our sample size of 1?

    So people spend half an hour a day on Facebook. I know people who spend 1-2 hours a day commuting to work. Are people who commute a distance to work “addicted” to commuting because I get to my job in 20-30 minutes?

  • J Flavk


    How about some journalistic skepticism or at least analysis. We agree that a lot of people use their mobiles to access Facebook every day.

    But, 40% said they do not. IDC says the average is 13.8 times a day, but to average out the 40% who do not, you need the 60% to check it five more times for a total of 20. That is also an average, so for every person who only checks it once (me) there must be two who do it 30 times, or one who check FB 39. Maybe people’s estimates aren’t that accurate. If the FB numbers were that good, they would share the analytics (and raise the rates)

    I’ve seen a few FB addicts, even grew one (my teen), but IDC’s numbers don’t pass the smell test, at least as reported.


  • artcohn

    I haven’t joined Facebook because I don’t want my info stolen.. I am very irritated that a number of websites which I used to respond to, will no longer let me without a facebook ID