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?"

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior .NET Web Developer - Winform / MVC

    £21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Java Developer

    £30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect