Smartphones are incredibly important to the average person nowadays – you probably don’t realise how frequently you check your phone every day. In fact, recent research by the Internet Advertising Bureau revealed that people use a ‘connected device’ an average of 34 times every day, with more than 50% of all smartphone users using the handset to fill up down-time.

The report was conducted by Firefish, an independent research agency, which studied 700 hours of Fisheye™ camera footage to determine the frequency of smartphone use. This investigation found that the average person spends two hours and 12 minutes every day using connected devices, with one hour and one minute of this time spent using two devices simultaneously. ‘Omni-screening’, or using two screens at the same time, has now become a normal part of everyday life, the researchers noted.

So why are people using their smartphones so regularly? The study found there are similarities in people’s reasons for smartphone use – in the morning, people want to find out about travel and the weather, whereas in the afternoon, the devices are used to complete more mundane tasks, such as paying bills or banking. Then in the evening, when people are relaxing, they take out their smartphones again for entertainment purposes or for shopping.

People are now afraid of being without their mobile phones, the researchers discovered. Although in the past, people may have picked at food, smoked, doodled on notebooks, or fiddled and fidgeted, nowadays they’re more likely to be seen busying themselves by playing with their phones. Rather than just a functional device, smartphones are now providing people with reassuring comfort and are even creating mildly compulsive behaviours.