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Fears rise that tech addiction comparable to drug and alcohol abuse

Frances Revel
culture

More than a third (41 percent) of Brits think technology addiction is comparable to alcohol or substance abuse, according to new research. Contributor Frances Revel –  the7stars.

The findings come from the most recent wave of The QT, a consumer confidence and attitude tracking study conducted on a quarterly basis by the7stars. The results show how 67 percent of 18-34 year olds admitted to needing a ‘break’ from technology – a figure that increased to 71 percent within the younger age group of 18-24 year olds.

However, these groups were found the least likely to do something about it; the desire from young people to stay connected appears to outweigh the need to switch off, with only 6 percent of 25-34 year olds actively turning their phones off during the evenings or at the weekend.

Paradoxically, 64 percent of 25-34 year olds say they like being connected all the time, with 74 percent agreeing that time spent on their phone doesn’t have to be dead time. However, 3 in 4 Londoners still claim to worry that they are losing the art of face to face conversation and interactions. In a similar vein, 1 in 10 18-24 year olds admitted to often recording voice notes instead of making actual phone calls – suggesting that communication via digital means could be increasingly becoming the preferred method of interaction.

Frances Revel of the7stars said: “Technology brings with it distinct advantages but it’s clear Brits have a hard time prying themselves away from their smartphones – even when they feel they really need to. In an increasingly digital world, attention has become a valuable commodity, but it’s clear the balance may need to be restored with users needing to feel more in control of their tech habits”.

Many tech companies have already started to help consumers ‘detox digitally’, urging them to develop more healthy relationships between the amount of time spent in the digital world, and that spent connecting to people off-screen. There’s still time for more tech brands to follow suit and encourage digital wellness, which must be a priority moving forward.


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