Britain's smartphone abusers - Macleans.ca

Britain’s smartphone abusers

Users thumbing away during meals is troubling, says a new study

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Smartphone abusers

Kainaz Amaria/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A new study from British telecom regulator Ofcom is warning of “a nation addicted to smartphones.” Thirty-seven per cent of adult smartphone users and 60 per cent of teenage users surveyed admitted to having succumbed to the ostensibly enslaving effects of being able to check emails and tweet one’s every thought from just about anywhere, the report said. Worrisome behaviour includes reaching for handsets first thing upon waking up, breaking up relationships via text message, and talking on the phone or thumbing away during meals. Nearly half of teenage users even admitted to using the devices while on the toilet—a confession that echoes another study’s finding that some users would be ready to fish their beloved device out of a public toilet. Yet, addictive or not, one thing is clear: smartphones are only getting more popular. In the U.K., over a quarter of adults and nearly half of teens own at least one.