According to a study by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom, a lot of people from the UK are addicted to their smartphones, with it being used for 24 hours a day. The study show how the devices are quickly changing people’s social behavior.
The research showed that more than one third (37 percent) of adults and majority of teens (at 50 percent) say they are highly addicted to their smartphones, such as BlackBerry and the iPhone. Smartphone users are more likely to never turn their devices off than standard mobile phone users, and are more and more inclined to send text messages or emails even when at the cinema or theater.
The study also noted the blurring line between the personal and professional lives of smartphone users. More than 30 percent of smartphone users said that they regularly make personal calls while at the office, while 35 percent said thet frequently use their smartphones for work outside the office.
Commenting on the results, Ofcom said, “Compared to users of ‘traditional’ mobile phone handsets, smartphone users use their phone more and claim to be more addicted to their phone, leaving it switched on for longer and displaying different social behaviours and work-life balance.”
Ernest Doku, a technology expert at uSwitch.com, talked about the results of the study, saying, “The picture painted by the Ofcom study – of a nation that’s steadily becoming addicted to smartphones – comes as little surprise. Smartphone penetration in the UK is among the highest in the world and they really are the center of many people’s universe.”
He said that smartphones, which are designed to make us easier to connect to our loved ones, are often blamed for distracting us from the people who are physically present with us. “It can be very frustrating if the person you’re talking to is constantly checking their smartphone.”
He also said that making family and friends feel second best to a smartphone is unacceptable. Other recent studies have shown that Brits don’t have hobbies, spend more time using tech than sleeping and that Twitter and Facebook is more important than spending time with loved ones.
Has tech taken over our lives?