If you are spending too long hooked up to your smartphone or tablet and the internet, you may need a digital detox.
New research reveals that millions take the decision to take a technology time-out from their gadgets.
A digital detox is becoming popular worldwide, but the latest research in Britain shows just how debilitating too much time online can be.
Communications regulator Ofcom spoke to more than 2,500 technology users and found a third had decided to spend at least a month away from the web at some time.
Another third confessed they found switching off from social media, games and entertainment online was difficult and 59% considered they were hooked on the web.
Too much time online
Around 50% of users agreed they spent too much time online every day.
One in four teenagers revealed they had been late for school because they had spent too much time online, and 16% said they failed to complete schoolwork because they preferred to spend time on their devices.
Too much time online also upset people interacting with device users.
Technology made 40% of people feel that their friends or relatives ignored them – a feeling often termed ‘better friend syndrome’. The phrase refers to people feeling the technology users they are with prefer to spend time online rather than with them because the people are more interesting.
According to the research, most adults spend 25 hours a week online, while four in 10 check their email and other social media at least 10 times a day.
Some people check the internet at least 50 times a day.
Ofcom says holidays are a good time for a digital detox, with 16% purposely going somewhere without internet access and another 9% pick a location with no mobile phone coverage.
“When asked how they felt when they went without the internet, the positives far outweighed the negatives. For example, a third of those who had had a web detox said they felt more productive or got more useful things done, while around a quarter agreed that they found it liberating, they enjoyed life more, or felt less distracted and more focused,” said the Ofcom report.