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Consumers Struggle With Tech Addiction

Tamara E. Holmes
Consumers Struggle With Tech Addiction

Before you reach over and check your smartphone for the umpteenth time, you may want to take heed: A new survey suggests that tech addiction is having a negative impact on many consumers’ lives.

Web hosting information site Whoishostingthis.com sought to explore the potential downsides of our digitally connected society. To do so, the company surveyed 1,230 people to see how their technology habits impact other areas of their lives.

Among survey respondents, the longest they could go without checking their smartphones was one hour and 16 minutes, on average. Only 13% said they did not start their day with technology. The rest fired up their tech devices to engage in such activities like checking email (25%), checking texts and online messages (24%), logging onto social media (16%) and tuning into online news sites (7%) first thing in the morning.

Some respondents apparently recognized their dependence on technology and sought to cut down on their usage. However, more than half — 55% — said they had negative feelings, such as moodiness, restlessness and depression, as a result of attempting to cut back. In fact, 23% of those who tried to decrease their tech usage admitted to being unsuccessful.

The survey results found that younger consumers tended to have the most difficult time weaning themselves off of technology. Gen Z respondents — defined by the study as those born between 1998 and 2017 — could only go an average of 72 minutes without checking their phones and were more likely than older consumers to experience negative feelings related to limiting their technology usage.

Technology can hurt relationships

The survey also shed light on how tech usage impacts other areas of consumers’ lives and found that relationships often suffer. Half of respondents admitted that they would rather spend a night in with their technology than a night out with friends.

On top of that:

  • 60% said technology usage hinders them from deepening their relationships with friends
  • 58% said it impedes them from strengthening their relationship with their significant other
  • 58% said it stunts the growth of relationships with family

Technology has also affected the way we communicate, as three in five respondents said they would rather get life updates from friends via text than through in-person meetups.

In some cases, tech usage has had bigger implications. Nearly half — 48% — of respondents said it has kept them from fulfilling one or more of their obligations. Digital distractions have also kept some respondents from reaching their personal goals, including:

  • Getting more sleep (81%)
  • Reading more often (68%)
  • Working out more (61%)
  • Eating healthier (38%)

While technology can make our lives easier, such as through the convenience of online shopping, it can also cause serious problems. For example, smartphone usage can lead to distracted driving. When using technology, strive for balance and moderation. Make sure your devices are bringing improvements to your life rather than doing long-term harm to other areas that are important to you.