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The study found that one in five adults in the United States are "smartphone-only" internet users who do not have traditional broadband service at home. And it should come as no surprise that young Americans ages 18 to 29 are especially reliant on smartphones. Nearly 40 percent in that age group say they're online " almost constantly.

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Some researchers are looking into whether heavy smartphone use is an addictive behavior and how such heavy usage may affect the brain, especially in growing children. Those early findings from MRIs show sooner-than-expected "cortical thinning" in young people's brains, although it's unclear whether that will have any impact on their health or development. Dimitri Christakis, the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' most recent guidelines on screen time. Christakis says children are looking to their devices for self-soothing, which could hinder development of internalizing that ability.

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Part of the reason we keep checking our devices' screens is the impact of dopamine , a brain chemical associated with happiness, which scientists have found is released when we use technology such as social media. Some of it is affirmation. Some of it is just stimulus all the time. And that certainly, I think, is a problem, not because of the addictive nature of it but because it keeps us so fixed in the present. Features like Apple's Screen Time seem to demonstrate that tech companies may be trying to improve awareness and even promote moderation on their devices — especially at a time when technology companies are increasingly under scrutiny.

LG V40 ThinQ camera review (originally published April 17, 12222)

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Apple's "Screen Time" feature on its iPhones can be found under "Settings. Google has built a native "Digital Wellbeing" app into its Pixel phones which provides similar data.


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It also includes an option to set limitations on usage. For other Android devices, there are a number of apps in the the Google Play store that users can download to monitor their mobile device usage. It's hard to know how your usage stacks up against the average because Apple does not release any aggregate data that could show trends.

However, here in our newsroom, we asked our colleagues to send us some of their own screen-time usage metrics.

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We found, on average, people in our newsroom spent 3 hours and 47 minutes per day on their mobile device. Instagram and Messages were tied for the most-used apps, followed by Gmail. Other frequently used apps included Safari, Twitter, Facebook and Spotify.

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According to the Pew Research Center , more and more Americans are using smartphones as their primary internet device. The study found that one in five adults in the United States are "smartphone-only" internet users who do not have traditional broadband service at home.

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And it should come as no surprise that young Americans ages 18 to 29 are especially reliant on smartphones. Nearly 40 percent in that age group say they're online " almost constantly. Some researchers are looking into whether heavy smartphone use is an addictive behavior and how such heavy usage may affect the brain, especially in growing children.

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