You are here

Cyber Aware Blog

< Back to all posts

Take a break from your smartphone and improve your wellbeing and cyber security

13th October 2017 | 4comadmin
Take a break from your smartphone and improve your wellbeing and cyber security

With new research demonstrating the scale of smartphone use among young people, YoungMinds and Cyber Aware are highlighting the benefits of taking a break from technology and doing something positive for your mental health. Taking a #techfree15 minutes to install the latest software and app updates, means you can have a healthy mind and phone! 

Over a fifth (21%) of 18-25 year-olds surveyed spend more than 6 hours a day on their smartphones. This is despite the fact that more than half of them (60%) agree that they would benefit from taking a short break from their smartphones.

Results from UK young people aged 18-25 responding to the Ipsos MORI online poll also showed that:

  • When forced to go without their smartphones during the past 12 months, over a third of young people surveyed (34%) agree that they felt anxious about what they were missing, 
  • Two-thirds (66%) of young people surveyed have checked their smartphones during dinner with family or friends.
  • More than half of young people surveyed (55%) say that they have missed what a friend, partner or family member was saying because they were distracted by their smartphone

Psychologist and wellbeing expert, Honey Langcaster-James, said: “The good news is 50% of young people are trying to consciously have more techfree time. We all tend to underestimate the amount of time we spend on our smartphones. Taking a Tech Free 15 whilst you install your software and app updates and using that time to relax or communicate with loved ones is a starting point and means you can have both a healthy mind and phone. Software updates contain vital security updates which help protect your devices from cyber criminals. Installing them as soon as possible helps to keep your device secure and allows your mind to rest at ease.” 

And it’s not just young people who would benefit from taking a break. Over half (52%) of all UK adults, aged 16-75, surveyed agree that they would benefit from taking a break. Nearly half (42%) have checked their phone during dinner with family and friends, and over a third (38%) admit to missing what a friend, partner or family member was saying because they were distracted by their smartphone.  

Follow the conversation on Twitter @cyberawaregov (opens new window) and use the hashtag #cyberaware.