Mobile Device "Addiction" Grips The UK

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A new study from Ofcom shows us the answer to the "Sex, Showers, Chocolate, or Smartphones?" question asked by Josh earlier today, at least in Britain, anyway.

In the case of British mobile device users, apparently, these users would have the hardest time parting with their mobile phones. Ofcam's study begins with three simple facts, and with them, it's easy to see why "smartphones" would be the answer to the earlier question:

  • Over a quarter of adults and nearly half of all teens now own a smartphone
  • 37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teens are ‘highly addicted’ to them
  • Smartphones are beginning to affect social behaviour
  • How this is different from their American counterparts, I'm not really sure. From Josh's article:

    One-third of those surveyed said that they would give up sex for a week if it meant they could hang on to their mobile devices. Of those respondents, 70% were women (there’s a joke here…).

    So yeah, there's a lot of similarity between the two populations. Mainly, they love their mobile devices.

    In Ofcam's study, they actually differentiate between a standard mobile phone and a smartphone -- which would apply to iPhones, Android-capable devices, and Blackberry. Users within these categories enjoy their devices in much different manners:

    [Smartphone] Users make significantly more calls and send more texts than regular mobile users (81 per cent of smartphone users make calls every day compared with 53 per cent of ‘regular’ users). Teenagers especially are ditching more traditional activities in favour of their smartphone, with 23 per cent claiming to watch less TV and 15 per cent admitting they read fewer books.

    Clearly, the level of connectivity, coupled with the functionality--via apps and the like--contribute mightily to the increased smartphone dependence. Perhaps "dependence" is the wrong choice of word. In the study, 37 percent of the respondents say they are "highly addicted" to their smartphone.

    Considering just how many people you come across who have their faces glued to their devices, these findings should probably come as no surprise, but seeing the numbers just drives the point home. Other findings from Ofcam's study include:

  • 81 percent of smartphone users have their mobile switched on all of the time
  • 38 percent of adults and 40 percent of teens admitting using their smartphone after it woke them (which stands to reason)
  • 51 percent of adults and 65 percent of teenagers say they have used their smartphone while socialising
  • 23 percent of adults and 34 percent of teenagers have used them during mealtimes
  • 22 percent of adults and 47 percent of teenagers admitted using or answering their smartphone in the bathroom or toilet (otherwise known as quality time)
  • And then there are those who admitted to being asked to switch off their device in a movie or other public setting. As you can see, British smartphone users are a lot like their American friends; that is, if they "need" to use their phone, it doesn't really matter where they are.

    Lead image courtesy of The Sun.

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