My smartphone gives me a headache

It can be a pain to miss out on the latest news from friends and family. However, spending all day on a smartphone leads to actual physical problems for many Nordic consumers.

In 2019, nine out of ten of the Nordic consumers surveyed have daily access to a smartphone, and this 24/7 availability comes with a price. More than half of the respondents in our survey report experiencing negative side effects of using their smartphone. Some experience increased levels of distraction when trying to complete a task, while others have a fear of missing out on things when they are not checking their smartphone. More severe effects include physical pains such as headaches or sore fingers, problems with eyesight and cases of anxiety or stress.

Negative side effects of smartphone addiction
Which of the following, if any, do you experience as a result of using your smartphone (too much)?

How did it get this far?

Firstly, our survey shows that the number of Nordic consumers with access to a smartphone has increased steadily over the years.

Secondly, the number of activities, for which the mobile phone is the preferred device has grown. The Nordic consumers prefer to use their smartphone to take photos, record videos, read the news and check social networks. They also prefer to use it when playing games and checking their balances, although the screen is rather small.

Finally, the smartphone is also a vital working tool for Nordic consumers. Two years ago, 73 per cent reported using their smartphone for work-related activities, while this number has increased to 80 per cent in 2019.

Managing the addiction is hard

We asked the respondents which methods they take to manage their smartphone use. Some say they turn data connectivity off or turn the ‘do not disturb-mode’ on, while others turn off notifications or simply turn off the phone. However, just under one-third of the respondents report that they do not do anything at all to limit their smartphone use and 30 per cent of those are also the ones reporting negative side effects of smartphone addiction.

Methods to manage smartphone usage
How, if at all, do you try to manage your smartphone usage

Curious to learn more on this topic? Download the full report

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