According to a recent survey by OCU, a quarter of all Spaniards show symptoms of Internet addiction.
The study carried out by OCU*, intends to highlight the risks associated with the misuse of mobile phones and computers, and reveals that the average Spaniard spends about five hours a day connected to a phone or computer. The study includes more than 1,900 people and covers the age group 18-64 years.
Use per week is divided into 22 hours private and 17 hours on the job, a total of 39 hours per week. 26% of the consumers stated that their personal lives were strongly dependent on their mobile phone.
The Spaniard’s main activity on the Internet is reading e-mails and searching online, although the use of social networks is also high. 85% of the respondents said that they have an account on a social network and 35% confirmed that they spend more time online than they thought.
According to the OCU study, the mobile phone has become the main source of Internet access and 78% of all surveyed responded that they own a smartphone. The mobile phone is being used in an average of 33 hours a week. 65% of the users said they always have their phone within easy reach.
The survey also asked about video games, pornography and online gambling. 23% reported playing video games more than once a week, and of these 7 of 10 were playing more than an hour a day. 21% admit that they look at pornography, but only 4% say they have gambled with money online.
Looking at the age distribution of the users, the figures vary a lot. The younger the users, the higher the proportion of people with internet addiction. According to the survey, it is in the 18-24 age group that the internet addiction rate is highest.
Analysis results show a close correlation between abuse of the Internet and mobile phones, and the degree of happiness. Those who are not dependent on the internet feel more satisfied with their lifes than those who show signs of addiction. It is also reflected in that those who spend more time on social networks, have a lower degree of life satisfaction.
There have been done similar studies in other countries, and despite the high numbers, the numbers are low compared to other countries. In Western Europe only Belgians, Italians, and Portuguese have lower numbers. This should perhaps be a warning to all other nationalities?
* OCU stands for “Organización de Consumidores y Usuario” and is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1975 to promote the interests of consumers and help them to assert their rights. OCU receive no government subsidies and is only finance by its more than 300,000 members.