Smartphone use among young Brits falls for 1st time, figures show

Smartphone use among young Brits falls for 1st time, figures show
Young Britons are turning their backs on the buzz of technology, it seems. New research shows that the time spent looking at screens has declined for the first time since records began.

On average, tech users aged 16-25 still open an app every 15 minutes; but market research firm Kantar TNS has found that their overall usage has fallen in the past year. Young people are now spending up to 3.8 hours in front of mobile phone and tablet screens – down from 3.9 hours last year, according to the research.

The research also revealed that one third of young people acknowledged they are spending too much time on their phones and want to cut down. Hayley Smith, 29, who runs a marketing business in London, was among those who felt they should rein it in. “I feel that my phone isn’t doing any favors for my mental health, and I rely on it too much,” she told The Times.

In order to reduce the amount of time she spends on screens, Smith said she has deleted the apps she tends to open the most, including Facebook, and tries to put her phone on airplane mode after 7pm.

“I feel that I am constantly switched on and not relaxing. Being on my phone all the time also makes me less focused and less productive,” she said, but admitted that it “always comes out.”

Michael Nicholas of Kantar TNS said: “It’s too late to put the genie back in the bottle — phones are too entwined in our everyday lives, so we’re not likely to see many young people taking the radical decision to ditch them. However, there’s clearly a conflict between our perceptions on phone usage and acting on it.”

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The research also discovered that people are spending up to five hours of their leisure time on screens when time spent on computers is taken into account. That goes up to 6.7 hours for young people.

The age group with the biggest proportional increase in time spent on smartphones were pensioners, who are now spending an average of 54 minutes a day on their phones – up from 36 minutes last year.