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Brief Published: 26 Nov 2014

US Tech-Life Balance

A quarter of US consumers check their phone every 30 minutes

The majority of Americans struggle to go more than two hours without checking their phone, according to a new survey commissioned by US tech hardware firm Crucial. A quarter can only last 30 minutes before feeling compelled to check their device. Despite this, three in four respondents believed they maintain a healthy tech-life balance.

The study, released last week, questioned 1,000 adults about their technology use. Men appeared to be the most tied to technology – 84% admitted to having checked their mobiles at inappropriate times, such as while driving or attending a funeral. One in five even said they would rather go without their car than give up technology for a week.

Millennials felt the most uncomfortable about the influence technology wields over their lives. Despite being one of the most connected demographics (nine in 10 own a smartphone), 31% wanted to return to a time before people were constantly connected – far higher than any other single age group.

Products and services that help consumers manage their relationship with technology are proliferating. Earlier this month, three students in Singapore won funding to develop an app that encourages people to stop using their smartphones. Apple Tree works by immobilising users' phones when they are placed together, and users are offered rewards for leaving them untouched.

The concept echoes apps such as Moment and Dinnertime, which aim to "promote balance" in consumers' lives by tracking smartphone usage and setting limits on digital activity.

For more on how brands can help consumers manage their hyper-connected lifestyles, see Battling Busyness and Quiet, part of our Industry Trend Redefine.