Is there a pandemic of digital addiction? The whole scenario of Internet overload has led millions of people in the UK to take a "digital detox" or in other words a break from the digital world. There was a research conducted by the regulators of Ofcom confirming this.
The survey has found that 34% of internet users have taken up to a month away from the web and digital communication itself.
Around 59% of those surveyed considered themselves to be addicted to their devices, with an estimated of a third stating that they found it difficult to disconnect entirely.
Around 50% commented that they spent longer surfing, browsing and socialising online than they originally intend each day.
The study was undertaken by 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers, forming a part of Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report. This helped to assess the state of the digital usage within the population.
Volunteers were questioned as to why they have taken tech and digital timeouts. 44% of the volunteers said it was to spend more time doing other things and 38% said to spend more time interacting with their friends and family.
Further to this, a third have said that they felt more productive as a result of their detox. Additionally, a further quarter said they enjoyed life more without the constant attention of the web.
It has been noted that Around 71% of the adults in the UK now own a smartphone.
The research also revealed that, three in four say that it ‘brings people in closer touch’ whereas one in two think that technology can get in the way.
Measurements taken to combat the addiction
There are various ways people are combatting the usage of mobile phones and technology examples of this include: Phone stacking - Where friends agree to pile their phones on the dinner table; Parents restricting the amount of time spent on mobile phones at home; people completely going on ‘tech detox’.
Social places such as bars and clubs are now also encouraging face-face conversations e.g. Gin Tub in Sussex blocks all mobile signals on their premises.
The research has also looked at how far connectivity has spread.
By the end of 2015, it was discovered that 9.2 million fixed broadband connections were superfast and 4G accounted for almost half of all mobile subscriptions.