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Smartphone use falls among young for first time

June King

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June King is in almost constant contact with her phone

Are we seeing the start of peak phone?

For the first time, young people in the UK aged between 16 to 24 are spending slightly less time on their smart devices, according to a report.

Market researcher Kantar TNS found that those within that group now spent an average of 3.8 hours on their phones a day down from 3.9 hours last year.

And this may be a surprise to parents, but a third of those said they thought they spent too much time on their phones and wanted to cut down.

That of course leaves the other two thirds.

June King, who is 24 years old, says she has not cut down her usage: “It’s part of my life, I just use it all the time. I think I’m on it for 12 hours a day!

“The only thing that worries me is electro-magnetic waves at night. So I try to keep it away from me while I sleep.”

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The average smartphone use across all generations is 2.4 hours a day

The group with the biggest growth in smartphone use are pensioners, according to the research.

Kantar TNS said the amount of time the older generation in the UK spent on their phones had rocketed between this year and last year, from 36 minutes to 54 minutes a day globally.

The average use across all generations is 2.4 hours a day.

Ann Morseby, who is in her 60s, says her usage remains fairly modest, about 40 minutes a day, but it is creeping up.

“I check my emails more frequently, although I still mostly use it for texting. I have started playing games more on it, though, so perhaps those 40 minutes are actually more like an hour,” she says.

Can’t live

The slight fall in smartphone use among the young in the UK does not mean the appetite for connectivity is still anything less than voracious.

The vast majority of under-24s – 94% – have a smartphone, and one device is often not enough. Some 40% of 16 to 24 year-olds use multiple devices at the same time when they’re online.

Kantar’s research found that over half of 16 to 24 year-olds (52%) don’t think they could live without social media and 84% use social media on a daily basis – up from 75% in 2015.

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