6 in 10 People Say They Are Addicted To Their Mobile Devices
We’re living in an increasingly connected world, meaning it can be more and more difficult to switch off. But how is this effecting our daily activities?
A new Ofcom report suggests that the UK is spending more time than ever online, with the average person spending 25 hours each week on the Internet.
According to Sky News, the average daily use of media and communications, including TV and the Internet, is now eight hours and 45 minutes. This means Britons are spending more time on technology than they spend sleeping.
While being always connected can have its benefits, some end up feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly inescapable flood of information.
It is perhaps then not surprising that digital detoxes, in which people purposefully log off from connected devices, are becoming more popular. It is believed that some 15 million Internet users have tried a digital detox.
Speaking to Sky News, director of market intelligence at Ofcom, Jane Ramble, said: “What we’ve found in the last few years is that the smartphone has become more and more important to people as the main means of going online and that many people are attached to their phone.
“It’s a great way of staying up to date with what’s happening at home and at work, but today six in 10 people have said they are hooked on these portable devices and I think it’s that shift that is causing people to reflect on this and decided to get a bit of a breather.”
Despite some people wanting a break from all things digital, just over a third (34%) of respondents said they would never like to try a digital detox.
Smartphone ownership on the up
One possible contributory factor to the number of people feeling hooked on devices is that smartphone ownership in the UK has increased.
The communications regulator’s survey, which questioned 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers, found that more than seven in 10 (71%) UK adults now own a smartphone, up from two thirds (66%) last year.
Having access to the Internet at home was also up, with figures showing 86% of adults now have home access.
It may not then be a surprise to hear that three quarters (75%) of adults believe the Internet is important to their lives.
But is being online more important than relationships? According to the survey, four in 10 adults feel they are ignored by a friend or relative at least once a week as a result of them being glued to their smartphones.
Being distracted by smartphones has led more than one in 10 (12%) of people to bump into someone on the street at least once a week.
A digital generational divide still remains, despite older people spending more time online and using smartphones more.
Discrepancies between generations are also evident when it comes to taking selfies, with nearly two fifths (39%) of those aged over 65 thinking it is “unacceptable” to take a selfie in public places. In comparison, only 6% of teenagers felt the same way.