Connected devices used 34 times a day says IAB UK research as users become 'wedded' to technology

A wide ranging survey undertaken by the IAB has warned of increasing 'connection addiction' as UK users become 'wedded' to technology.

Amongst its conclusions, the IAB said that one in six smartphone owners use their device whilst shopping, and people use some form of internet-connected device 34 times a day.

“People’s inability to leave their phones alone is the newest addition to common ‘displacement’ behaviours such as smoking, doodling, fiddling with objects and picking at food. It’s also an extension of ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of being without your mobile” says Dr Simon Hampton, psychology lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

“Rather than do nothing we’re compelled to turn to them for reassuring comfort. What’s exciting for marketers is that, unlike most of the examples above, this mildly compulsive behaviour might be exploited to encourage purchasing, particularly as digital increasingly blurs the line between shopping and entertainment.”

The survey is the fruit of over 1,350 interviews amongst smartphone owners and 700 hours of video footage. It found that respondents averaged a total of two hours 12 minutes per day using a connected device, while for 46 percent of this time – one hour and one minutes – they’re using at least two devices, sometimes three, simultaneously.

“One thing that stood out in the study was how surprised respondents were when told how frequently they’d looked at their phone, tablet or computer. It reinforces how normal ‘omni-screening’ – being just an arms-length away from some device that gets us online – has become,” said Tim Elkington, director of research & strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau.

“We also saw a broad pattern in how people use their devices; the morning is about getting information such as weather and travel, the afternoon for undertaking specific tasks such as banking or paying bills, while the evening is focused on entertainment, including shopping.”

The research found that 17 percent of UK smartphone owners said their phone had played some role – either browsing, researching or buying – in a purchase made in the last fortnight.

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