Technology

Measuring technology addiction around the globe

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Do you struggle to unplug from technology? Well you’re not alone, according to the results from our international online survey where a third of those polled (34%) firmly agree1 that they “find it difficult to take a break from technology (my mobile device, computer, TV, etc.), even when I know I should”.

In the era of the Connected Consumer, this may not come as a big surprise, but what does stand out among the data is that teenagers and higher income households rank as the most likely to be addicted to technology.

Breaking down the results by age

After teenagers (categorized as 15 – 19 year olds), of which 44% responded that they have difficulty taking a tech break, the numbers steadily decrease by age group, while the number of people who indicated they do not have trouble unplugging increases.  A tipping point was reached in those aged 50-59 and 60+, where a majority responded that they do not struggle to take a break from technology.

Higher income vs. lower income households

Additionally, those living in higher income households may also struggle more with technology addiction, with 39% finding it difficult to take a break from their devices, and only 11% indicating it is not hard to take a break.  Lower income households show attitudes that are more split, with 30% agreeing that it’s difficult to unplug, and 20% firmly disagreeing.

Where are the opportunities for brands?

China ranks the highest globally in online population who have difficulty taking a break from technology at 43%, with mobile devices playing an essential role in the lives of Chinese consumers.  Rounding out the top five countries are Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the United States, respectively.

I find it difficult to take a break from technologyIn contrast, Germany has the highest percentage (35%) of those who strongly disagree that taking a tech break is difficult, followed by the Netherlands (30%) and Belgium (28%).

Conclusion

These findings clearly show differences in market opportunities – from brands offering the latest devices targeting happily ‘always-on’ consumers, to brands offering ‘quality time’ services that resonate with people who like to break from technology.

About the study

We asked over 22,000 consumers (aged 15 or over) online in 17 countries how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement, “I find it difficult to take a break from technology (my mobile device, computer, the TV, etc.), even when I know I should”.

1Data presented in this release represents the bottom 2 boxes (disagreement) and top 2 boxes (agreement) from on a 7-point scale where “1” means “don’t agree at all”, and “7” means “agree completely”.

Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. The global average given in this release is weighted based on the size of each country proportional to the other countries. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

Download the full findings from  our complimentary report

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