Half Of Brits “Disconnected From The Real World” Through Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone addiction is not a new issue. But research from Clas Ohlson has revealed the extent of excessive usage - affecting relationships with loved ones and disconnecting them from the real world.


In the A Better Home Report, the brand looks into how the ever-increasing amount of time dedicated to staring at our smartphones is affecting different parts of life. And the results? Well, while the whole “smartphones negatively affect our social lives” message is unsurprising, the extent to which it does is rather alarming.

In general life, 52% say they become “unaware of their surroundings” while on their phone, not paying attention to what’s going on around them (shout out to anyone who’s nearly died walking out into a road while playing Pokémon GO). And over a third say that the last thing they do before going to sleep at night is use their phone.

One in five also say they express themselves better with the use of emojis over real words, whilst one in ten pet owners have admitted to seeing signs of jealousy from their animals when the owners are busy on their phones.

As for your romantic relationships, over a third (41%) of Brits in relationships prefer to spend time on their phone over their partner before bed, proving the anti-social barriers being built between people.

Unpacking this problem, over a quarter say that phone usage has caused arguments in relationships. And slightly scarier, people in relationships (53%) are more likely to be on their phones in bed than singletons (40%).

Finally, looking at parental relationships, over half of parents with kids under 18 admit to keeping their children occupied with phones, and almost a quarter of parents with children over that age have confessed to using technology to distract the young ones.

“Clas Ohlson’s research shows that using our phones too much can damage our relationships with friends and family,” Award-winning writer, TED speaker global spokesperson of the Slow Movement commented. “Of course, everyone loves a bit of shared screen time, but being constantly plugged in can drive a wedge between us and our loved ones. To turn the home into a haven of calm and connection, it’s essential to switch off our gadgets sometimes.”

Of course, let’s add the context that should really be added to any study like this - it’s a good story release, but one that should be taken with a small pinch of salt. This was based on a poll of 2,000 Brits, conducted in September. That’s not exactly everyone, but these stories are always constructed to communicate a message.

And in this case, the message is one I agree - we need to learn to spend our time better. The most recent versions of iOS and Android has features to combat this built in, but a lot of this will come from personal determination. 

Crazy theory: too much technology can be bad for your mental wellbeing.