Digital addict – or just checking your Facebook page? A quarter of all men and women spend 'an unhealthy amount of time online'

Research also finds that 2 per cent of people are 'digital phobic' and 1 per cent are 'digital deniers'

Almost four in 10 young adults describe themselves as digital addicts, according to research published today by Foresters, the financial services company.

A quarter of all men and women are now fixated with spending what has been described as an unhealthy amount of time online, with the figure rising to 37 per cent for those aged 18 to 25. This age group was most likely to "display extreme behaviour when using technology", defined as being addicted to social media, feeling anxious or distressed when unable to access technology and admitting to getting a high from shopping online.

Laura Sears, 23, from Guildford, is online most of the day with her PR job and spends an additional three to four hours a day checking her phone.

"I'm constantly refreshing my Facebook or Twitter page," she said. "I'm also always tweeting while watching TV shows, but don't know why I feel the need to do it – it's not as if people are going to want to read what I'm saying."

She said her behaviour had started to affect her relationship with her boyfriend: "He has insisted I leave my phone in another room, but I feel uncomfortable when it's not by my side."

Thomas Knee, 24, of London, said he had been addicted to "all things digital" since he taught himself computer programming when he was 10. "I personally don't think I have a problem. I believe that if I am addicted, it has paid off by getting me a good job in a field that I love," he said.

The research found that just 2 per cent of people were "digital phobic" and 1 per cent were "digital deniers". Steve Dilworth, Foresters' managing director, said: "It is increasingly the case that many feel dependent on this technology and begin to display worrying habits."

However, Dr David Giles, of Winchester University, who has studied social media addiction, said: "Judging by the criteria that Foresters seem to be using … then I'm an addict. It doesn't strike me as particularly worrying to say that you love buying online. If [going online] doesn't actually cause distress – the primary concern for mental health – then what's the problem?"

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

    £22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This creative agency requires a...

    SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician - 1st Line

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have been providing local ...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones