Smartphones: Friend or Foe? Diary Research

Contributing Writers: Alyssa Senatore, Anthony Ferrentino, Kareema Archangel, and Lexi Mazza.

Our Ethnographic Analysis consisted of all five of our group members using the apps Moment and Hooked to track our phone usage. Our data was collected over a time period of seven days starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday. Four of our members used the Moment app to track their usage. This app allowed us to track our individual phone usage based on a daily basis and included how long we used our phones and when we used them. Our fifth member used the Hooked app. This app is slightly different from Moment in which your phone usage is still tracked but hooked tells you exactly what apps you used and when those apps were used.

Student Data

Smartphone use graph

As you can see, our results varied Widely. The Moment app definitely did not show as much detail as the Hooked app did. The chart above summarizes all of our data collected into how much time we all used our phones combined. As a group, we thought it would be interesting to compare our own smartphone usage to the survey that was administered as part of this editorial series.

One of the survey questions was: ‘What time of the day are you on your smartphone the most?’ Forty participants answered this question and said they were on their phones most from 6 p.m. to 9:59 p.m. These results corresponded with our results, which showed that most of us spent the most time using our phones while we were outside of the classroom.

We can also compare our results to the questions about rating each smartphone feature based on personal uses. Our data showed that participants used their phones the most for social media, alarm clocks, and of course, to call home.

Overall, it was very interesting collecting all of our own data through these apps; it is also neat that there are apps that can tell you how much your phone is being used and when.

This article is one of several in a series on smartphone usage at Bloomsburg University. This series was conducted as a BUnow editorial partnership with Dr. Ganahl’s MassComm research students. Smartphones are steadily becoming a large part of student life, both on- and off-campus. We aim to study this integration, as well as uncover trends in the ways Bloomsburg University students use their smartphones. We hope the information we discover will be of use to the Bloomsburg population, and that this information will help us all gain insight into how we use our smartphones.