More than half of young Taiwanese addicted to smartphones: survey

Taipei, Feb. 2 (CNA) One of every two young Taiwanese has admitted to being addicted to their smartphone, according to the results of a survey conducted by the National Development Council (NDC) in July 2019 but whose results were not released until last month.

According to the survey, 54.0 percent of Taiwanese smartphone users below 20 years old considered themselves addicted to their device in 2019, higher than the 29.3 percent who felt that way in a similar survey the previous year.

Among users in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups, the self-rated smartphone addiction was 36.4 percent and 37.9 percent, respectively, roughly an increase of 10 percentage points in each age group compared to a year earlier.

Overall, only about a quarter (27.6 percent) of Taiwanese saw themselves as smartphone addicts, 6.8 percentage points higher than 2018.

Meanwhile, the survey also found that 89.8 percent of smartphone users used the device to go online in 2019, 1.6 percentage points higher than the previous year and a sharp increase compared to the 35.3 percent who used their phone to go online in 2011.

Among the most popular uses of smartphones was social media browsing, information searching, and entertainment such as watching videos and playing games, according to the survey.

In terms of time spent online using a smartphone, the survey found that users below 20 years old spent an average of 312 minutes (5.2 hours) per day browsing the internet in 2019, half an hour more than 2018.

The phenomenon of smartphone and internet addiction among Taiwanese youth is worsening and a social problem to be concerned with, as the behavior might lead to undesirable effects on their health and studies, the NDC warned.

The survey, which collected 1,517 valid samples through telephone interviews, was conducted from July 1-5, 2019.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Emerson Lim)


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