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01/27/2014 04:45 pm ET | Updated Jan 27, 2014

Menthal App Could Help You Realize How Addicted You Are To Your Smartphone

Jamie Grill via Getty Images

If you're being totally honest with yourself, how often do you use your smartphone each day?

In the ultimate example of "turning bad into good," an app run on, yes, your smartphone could help to identify your overabundant smartphone use. The app, called Menthal, was developed by scientists at the University of Bonn and is actually part of a larger project to analyze cell phone use without relying on self-assessments, which can be inaccurate. The app will run on Android 4.0 or newer, and is free from the Google Play store or on www.menthal.org.

"We would like to know how much cellphone use is normal, and where 'too much' starts," study researcher Christian Montag, of the University of Bonn, said in a statement.

The scientists conducted an unpublished study on cell phone use of 50 students tracked through Menthal for six weeks, and found that about 25 percent of the students spent two hours or more a day on their phones. Among their findings:

- Students in the study activated their phones at least 80 times a day, every 12 minutes, on average, with some even activating it every 6 minutes.
- There was an average of 8 minutes of talk time a day.
- There was an average of 2.8 text messages written a day.
- More than half of the smartphone use involved communication of some sort (messaging or social networking).

In 2012, a TIME survey showed that almost everyone wouldn't be able to go a day sans phone, and that half of people sleep with their phones right beside them. The survey also showed that one in five people peek at their phones every 10 minutes.

But all this screen-time could be hurting us -- a recently published study in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes showed that smartphone use at night is linked with worse sleep -- and worse focus and engagement at work the next day.

How do you keep track of your digital habits? Tell us in the comments!

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