Mobile Time is Spent on Marginal Distractions (like Email and Social)

If you see someone on their smartphone, chances are they are either checking email or checking Facebook.

You.  With the smartphone.  You on Facebook?  Yeah.
You. With the smartphone. On Facebook? Likin’ it like it’s your job.

That’s according to a couple different sources of data.  A report from LiveIntent which found that a whopping 14 minutes out of every hour spent with mobile was spent in email (23%).  Separately, comScore found that 24% of all mobile time was spent with Facebook.

Note that comScore’s definition of “mobile” here includes tablets and smartphones whereas LiveIntent’s data … not sure.

Further note that LiveIntent found that time spent on social on mobile was only about nine minutes for every hour, which obviously conflicts with comScore’s findings.

Regardless of the actual figure, I think of mobile time as marginal time.  When we have a moment to ourselves, our minds seek information, activity, or distraction.  What easier way to scratch that mental itch than with our mobile device?

But a minute here and a minute there also demands we constrain our activities to things we can do quickly.  Catching up on an email or two (so long as you aren’t drafting a response) is something that can be done with marginal time. Checking your Facebook feed is an easy distraction.

It’s filler behavior.  It’s passive distraction.

So these stats don’t surprise me.


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