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'
Paul Gallagher is a reporter for the Independent and Independent on Sunday having joined the group in 2012. He has previously worked for the European Voice, Daily Mirror and the Observer and been based in Brussels, Belfast, Tokyo and London.
Sunday 08 June 2014
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 & Style blogs
Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits spark copying controversy
Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This creative agency requires a...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They have been providing local ...