Business Technology

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Gen Z hooked on phones amid social media stress

 

A quarter of youths aged 16 to 21 are now spending an average of four hours a day using their mobile phones. Stock: PA
A quarter of youths aged 16 to 21 are now spending an average of four hours a day using their mobile phones. Stock: PA

Allison Bray

Only a tiny fraction of young people are now spending an hour or less on their smartphones a day, a new study has found.

A poll by Amárach Research reveals that a quarter of youths aged 16 to 21 are now spending an average of four hours a day using their mobile phones.

And just over a fifth (or 21pc) of so-called Generation Z are looking at their screens for six hours or more a day.

Only 3pc of respondents can manage to limit their screen time to less than an hour a day, the poll revealed.

There are growing concerns that "prolonged use likely takes time and energy away from important social interactions and real-life relationships, as well as off-line learning and general well-being", and the "constant peer pressure and scrutiny" from social media is "making life more difficult" for 59pc of respondents, according to Rachel Collier, chief executive of Young Social Innovators, which commissioned the study.

"We need to focus on getting the balance right between smartphone usage and real-life experiences without trying to roll back on something that is firmly part of contemporary youth culture," she said.

Research director Sarah Rooney said the poll reveals that "young people feel stressed and anxious, and their relationship with social media clearly contributes to this".

Irish Independent

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