How long do you spend on your phone each day?

Justine Toh gapes at screen-time estimates across different generations - and reflects on insights from Andy Crouch on technology.

14 hours a day: the average daily screen time 15-year-old Gemma* had racked up in the previous week. She’d told her teacher for a laugh (who, horrified, told me), including the rough routine that enabled her to stare into her phone so much.

3pm: nap
6pm: dinner
7pm-4am: phone, phone, phone
4amish-7amish: sleep

Maybe it’s all wildly exaggerated. But more conservative estimates of daily screen time aren’t encouraging, either.

A 2021 survey of 1000 people by reported that the average Australian spent 5.5 hours on their phone every day.

Gen Xers and Millennials hovered between six to seven hours a day – basically, an eight-hour workday at 80% effort.

Gemma’s peers in Gen Z outstripped everyone, spending an average 7.3 hours every day on their phones. Actual eye-watering stuff, considering all that eye strain.

Andy Crouch is giving CPX’s Richard Johnson Lecture this Thursday Sep 1 at Sydney’s AGNSW – and in Melbourne on Sep 5.

To be clear, Andy isn’t a tech guru armed with advice on how to rein in your screen time – or others’. But he’s long considered the human costs of our tech-saturated lives as well as the path toward a more connected and fulfilling future.

One titbit worth your time: Andy’s opening observation in The Life We’re Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological Age.

When you were born, you spent hours staring at the faces of those who cared for you, hungry for connection. These days, that desire to connect drives you to spend more time than you’d like staring into your phone – even if this is a very different kind of recognition than the one we first sought.

What’s the relationship between the two – and, more importantly, the solution? Come to the lecture and find out!

* not her real name