I recently ran a poll on smartphone use in academia, now that there are numerous apps available that track how much time we spend/waste on our phones.
Whether we are wasting or spending our time can be a blurry line. A Skype call with my colleagues in Europe, or a Whatsapp chat to coordinate work on a paper certainly are more valuable than mindless Instagram scrolling – but it’s hard to draw a clear line (especially if you use your social media accounts to communicate your science).
I try to limit my phone use to maximum 1 hour per day, but can’t always manage to do so – but certainly an hour switching between apps feels different from an hour reading a book (I usually use my Kobo for that purpose, but sometimes read on my phone too).
The results of the poll do show me that 50% of the respondents use their phone for more than 3 hours per day. Here are the results of the poll and its wake: