Social networks fuel smartphone addiction

by ndrew Moir

UK media regulator Ofcom has revealed that more people than ever are using smartphones with one and three adults owning a device and a high number of people describing themselves as “highly addicted”.

These statistics come as part of Ofcom‘s annual Communications Market Report which amalgamates the regulator’s own research alongside that of other industry analysts. The research gives a snapshot of all aspects of the British public’s communications consumption.

2,073 adults and 521 children and teenagers with access to a broadband connection were surveyed in March this year. Teenagers are defined as aged between 12 and 15, while adults are measured as 16-years-old and above.

While just 27% of adults own a smartphone it seems that teenagers are leading the way with 47% owning the devices. Amongst adults 58% of smartphone owners are male compared to 42% of females. For teenagers the trend is reversed but much closer with 52% of girls using smartphones against 48% of boys.

It seems that people are becoming increasingly reliant on the technologies as they begin to invade every area of life. 47%of teenage smartphone owners admit using their device in the toilet with just 22% of adults admitting to that practice. Nearly one in five of those surveyed admit to using their gadgets at social occasions including visits to the cinema and theatres even if they have been asked to switch them off. This is reflected in the claims that 60% of teenagers class themselves as “highly addicted” along with 37% of adults.

There are further differences between the generations with adults showing a preference towards the iPhone and youngsters favouring the Blackberry.

The most popular website is Facebook with people spending four times longer on the social network than any other site. The trend for social networking has resulted in a decrease in users’ television and reading hours.

Are you addicted to your phone? Can you imagine living without your phone? Let us know in the comments section below.

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