In Brief

Smartphone addiction test: can you put down your mobile?

Ofcom study finds that one in five British adults spends longer online each week than the average time spent at work

The average Briton is on their smartphone for around 24 hours each week and checks it every 12 minutes, according to a study by Ofcom. 

The telecommunications watchdog’s newly published report says that one in five adults in the UK spends as many as 40 hours per week on the phone - “revealing the extent to which people now rely on the internet”, says The Guardian.

Two in five British adults – rising to 65% of those aged under 35 – look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, surveys reveal. And a third said they kept checking their phone up until the moment they went to sleep, a figure which increased to 60% for the under-35s.

Four in five adults now own a smartphone, and they have overtaken television sets as the device people “cannot live without”, The Times reports.

“Over the last decade, people’s lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services,” said Ofcom’s director of market intelligence, Ian Macrae. “Whether it is working flexibly, keeping up with current affairs or shopping online, we can do more on the move than ever before.

“But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they’re not.”

Researchers at Iowa State University has devised a questionnaire to check for “nomophobia” - a fear of being without a phone. To find out if you suffer from this very modern affliction, respond to the following statements on a scale of one (strongly disagree) to seven (strongly agree).

Add up your score as you go and then check the scoring system beneath the test.

If had my smartphone with me:

1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.3. Being unable to get the news (e.g. happenings, weather, etc) on my smartphone would make me nervous.4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.

If I did not have my smartphone with me:

1. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.2. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.3. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.4. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.5. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.6. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.7. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.8. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.9. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.10. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.11. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

Tally up your score and check how strong your nomophobia is with the scores below:

20 or less: Absent21 to less than 60: Mild60 to less than 100: Moderate100 to 140: Severe

Recommended

‘Cost of living will decide race’
Today’s newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Cost of living will decide race’

How Truss and Sunak would tackle a recession
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak at a debate
Getting to grips with . . .

How Truss and Sunak would tackle a recession

What next for the UK economy?
Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey faces the media on 4 August 2022
Today’s big question

What next for the UK economy?

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August
Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner