Stacie Funk momentarily checks her phone after dinner with her husband… (Francine Orr / Los Angeles…)
If you think twentysomethings are addicted to their smartphones, try hanging out with a new mom.
Mothers with young children spend more time on their smartphones than other adults, including the young, digitally savvy generation known as millennials, according to research sponsored by AOL.
Moms with kids 5 years old or younger spent an average of more than 37 hours per month using apps and websites on their smartphones, the analysis found.
Such moms tend to be young, but they spent even more time on their smartphones than the average millennial -- young adults ages 18 to 32 -- who spent roughly 31 hours. Older women spent 29.5 hours on their smartphones monthly, compared with 26 hours for older men.
So why do new moms use their smartphones so much?
Researchers ruled out the idea that their kids were using their phones, since moms were using their phones an average of 21 times a day and handing then over to their children less than once a day. The smartphone apps and websites that new moms were using weren’t the same ones that small children would gravitate toward, they added.
Instead, researchers found that new moms turned to their phones as a “lifeline.” The smartphone, they wrote, was a personal assistant to manage schedules, a social hub to connect with friends, a personal shopper to handle household needs, an “informer” to get educated on a slew of new topics, and an escape hatch to get away from the new pressures of motherhood.
The findings were rooted in an earlier study of 1,000 smartphone users, including 342 moms, who recorded different moments they used their smartphones. That study, which also tracked hundreds of smartphone users' mobile behaviors for roughly a month, was conducted by AOL, the research company InsightsNow and the agency BBDO.
AOL and InsightsNow took that data and surveyed and interviewed more than 350 more moms this summer about their love affairs with their smartphones.
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