And unsurprisingly Londoners are the most obsessed with their phones…
A new survey conducted by Grazia for our special Unplugged Issue has discovered the impact that our obsession with and reliance on smart phones is having on our lives, with everything from our relationships with others to our own happiness being affected – often negatively.
When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, a third of women said that social media affects their body image, 26% say it has a negative effect on anxiety and one in four said it had a negative impact on their self-esteem and mental health – all worrying figures.
But it’s not just Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that are to blame. The rise of ‘phubbing’ (snubbing someone by being on your phone) is damaging relationships, too, with 95% of people saying it annoys them during conversations and 83% being irritated by it at meals. Interestingly, Scottish people are most likely to find phone use during work meetings to be annoying, with 94% agreeing that it was unprofessional.
Londoners were found to be the most obsessed with their phones, with half claiming social media has a positive impact – higher than the rest of the UK. However, they were also more likely to say that phones negatively impact on their relationships, as well as being more addicted to checking them last thing at night (and even on the loo – 68% admitted to taking them with them to the bathroom). Indeed, FOMO is a massive issue for people in the capital, with half claiming they are too scared to quit social media in fear of missing out.
Which all leads us to one conclusion – isn’t it time for a digital detox?
‘Advances in technology have given us huge benefits and transformed our lives and careers,’ says Grazia’s editor Natasha Pearlman. ‘However, this survey reveals we’ve reached a tipping point. Where technology once liberated us, now we feel we’re slaves or negatively addicted to it. I was astounded at quite how much our mobile use affects our mental health, and increases anxiety – and the huge number of women who say phones ruin quality time with friends and family. It’s why we have scoured the globe to bring our readers different ways to disconnect in our special Unplugged Issue.’
Buy Grazia’s Unplugged Issue, on newsstands now, to join us on our digital detox.