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Study finds 80% of young South Africans addicted to their phones

A study has revealed that cellphones are dominating the lives of people between the ages of 18 and 36. Picture: File

A study has revealed that cellphones are dominating the lives of people between the ages of 18 and 36. Picture: File

Published May 12, 2022


Pretoria - A recent study by SA-based technology company Adoozy into the mobile phone habits of people between the ages of 18 and 36 has confirmed that technology is dominating our lives.

It found that people use their mobile phones for different reasons, including business, work or personal reasons and entertainment.

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According to Adoozy, 40% of those surveyed said they would rather skips meals than run out of phone power, while over 80% of those surveyed said they considered themselves “addicted” to their phones.

Almost 60% reported that if left without their phone they felt anxious, unsafe and vulnerable; 77% said they felt the need to reply instantly to messages.

Another 85% of 18 to 26-year-olds in the survey admitted to using their phone while on the loo.

Meanwhile, 25% said they checked their phones at least 10 times an hour, which equates to about five minutes an hour or 80 to 90 minutes per waking day.

The study said this was the same as spending an entire rugby or soccer game on a mobile device – every day of the year.

Shubi Molekwa, 24, said she hardly checked her phone because she was busy with work.

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“Immediately when I wake up, I switch off my alarm, take a bath then continue to check my phone for the time. I do not check my social media accounts at that time, but when I’m on my transport to work I check my socials.

“I would say I check my WhatsApp about five times or more a day, I check for work WhatsApp groups for important information, then answer messages when I’m free,” she said.

Boitumelo Moloi, 23, said she spent most of her time on her phone because of social media.

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“I check my phone more than 20 times a day, and the first thing I check is my social media accounts.”

Enneth Mgidi, 31, said she spent most of her time locked into her phone because of TV soapie series and shows that she watched through an app.

“Normally, the first thing I do is check if I have any messages that I can reply to, then I go to the apps I use to watch TV shows and series.

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“After downloading content, I work then come back later to watch.

“I watch a lot of things on my phone, it is more like my TV. I do not watch TV, that is what I spend most my time on my phone doing, just watching series."

Adoozy CEO Kegan Peffer said their research emphasised the extent to which mobile devices were a way of life for young South Africans.

“A smartphone is more than a must-have, it is an inseparable extension of their being. Anyone who wants to interact successfully with this audience for any purpose whatsoever – business, leisure, education or on social issues – needs to understand that and embrace the mobile-first culture.

“Personal safety is an obvious one – particularly for at-risk groups such as young females.

“Smartphones are also a useful provider of mobile internet and email services during load shedding – for study and work-from-home purposes,” said Peffer.

Pretoria News