Between working on a computer, relaxing in front of the TV and using our smartphones whenever we have a couple of seconds to kill, we are spending more time staring at screens than any generation before us. And yet we can’t seem to get enough screen time. According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, 73 percent of U.S. adults at least occasionally use a digital device while watching TV, with 45 percent admitting doing so “very often” or “always”.
To our defense though, not all that second screen usage is mindless scrolling through Twitter timelines or Instagram feeds. According to Nielsen’s findings, smartphone or tablet usage while watching TV is often directly related to the content that is watched on the primary screen. Most often, Americans use their second screen to look up information related to the content, but they also like to message friends about what they’re seeing, adding a social component to an otherwise solitary activity.