Most young people ‘worried they’re addicted to phones’ and spend 20 hours a week on them

Nearly three quarters of young adults worry they’re addicted to their mobile phone – typically spending more than 19 hours per week scrolling through apps.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults found 41% even take their device into the bathroom – with this figure rising to 77% of 18 to 24 year-olds.

Social media is partly to blame, with a fifth fearing they couldn’t go 24 hours without checking for the latest updates on Twitter and Instagram.

And there is also a wider work-life balance issue, with half (50%) of respondents saying the shift to a ‘working from home’ culture makes them more reliant on mobiles.

Most say that jumping into their car gives them a good opportunity to disconnect

A quarter of respondents (26%) admit they have read their emails in the bathroom over the past week.

In fact, 45% of Gen Z respondents (those aged 18 to 24) are more likely to have sent an email from their bathroom than cleaned it over the past week.

Almost a third (30%) have faced complaints from friends and family over the amount of time they have been spending on their phone.

Overall, 40% of respondents said they worry they’re addicted to their mobile phones – but this increases to 72% of Gen Z.

And 39% would like to take a digital detox and a break from their phone but would worry they would be missing out on something.

Most young people 'worried they're addicted to phones' and spend 20 hours a week on them
A fifth don’t reckon they could go a day without checking social media

The research was carried out to highlight the new Vauxhall Mokka, which has been designed with a decluttered and detoxed interior, free from excessive notifications and distractions.

Vauxhall has teamed up with digital declutter expert Tanya Goodin, author of ‘My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open’, to highlight the ‘Mokka Mindset’ and encourage a more relaxing, less-cluttered driving experience.

Tanya said: “There are huge benefits to being more connected than ever before, but from dealing with partners excessively scrolling to panicking when we misplace our phones, we must be aware of how our digital habits affect our offline existence.

“We’ve analysed the relationships Brits have with technology and found that more people are trying to limit their screen time, which understandably increased during the pandemic.

“Our aim is to spread the word about how tech should empower people rather than overwhelm them – much like the interior of the Vauxhall Mokka which allows drivers to focus on the road and enjoy a more serene, less distracted driving experience”.

Most young people 'worried they're addicted to phones' and spend 20 hours a week on them
More than two thirds of Gen Z say they’re addicted to their phones

The research, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed society’s dependency and fondness of mobile phones is affecting our enjoyment of other forms of entertainment.

Over the past month two thirds (64%) have double screened, where they watch TV while browsing their phone, and 30% have triple screened.

So, it should come as no surprise that 48% are regularly losing track of what they are watching on TV because they’re browsing their apps.

Unsurprisingly, it is driving which is the number one place where people say they take a break from their devices.

Two thirds (67%) say jumping in their car allows them to switch off from social media.

And 62% of respondents who have tech such as Apple CarPlay, sat-nav and voice controls said it helped reduce distractions and enabled them to focus on the road while driving.

Most young people 'worried they're addicted to phones' and spend 20 hours a week on them
A significant chunk of young people would like to do a digital detox

To see how dependent people are on their phones, Vauxhall has created a light-hearted quiz entitled ‘Are You A Screen Addict?’

Adam Wood, marketing director for Vauxhall Motors, added: “With our increasingly busy lives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by technology and screen time in particular.

“Our designers and psychologists strive to create decluttered car interiors free from unwanted or unnecessary distractions, in turn providing a safer, more pleasurable and more mindful driving experience.”

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