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Are you an addict?

67% feel an urge to use it every day. 64% can't go a day without using it. 50% say it has interfered with their daily lives. 39% use it when they are stressed, anxious or depressed to make themselves feel better.
But what is it?

The fast-paced, bottomless information portal we commonly refer to as the internet!

Modern research agency Columinate recently conducted a survey with 2000 connected South Africans to determine their internet behaviours and uncover their attitudes when it comes to the world wide web. The survey forms part of its eighth birthday celebrations and, because Columinate loves to share, the data drawn from the survey will be freely available from 01 October 2016.

One section in the survey looked at statements that are often used to determine whether a person is an addict. Typical signs of addiction were applied to internet usage and analysed accordingly. Now let’s consider the results:

Sign #1: It interferes with your daily life
Half indicated that the internet has interfered negatively with their daily life.

Sign #2: Others have told you that you are addicted
34% admitted that others have told them they use the internet too much, while 30% have argued with their partners about excessive internet usage.

Sign #3: You’ve tried to cut down, but without success
34% have tried and failed to reduce their time on the internet.

Sign #4: You’ve withdrawn from social situations to use instead
18% have turned down invitations from friends to spend that time online; that may not sound like much, but it is almost 1 in 5.

Sign #5: You use to forget about your problems
26% admitted that they use the internet to forget about their problems.

These signs typically refer to a condition known as IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) or PIU (Problematic Internet Use). While not yet classified as a mental disorder by the Psychiatric Association, the scientific community is starting to sit up and take notice. Columinate’s survey was by no means a psychiatric evaluation tool, but it is concerning that about 30% of people who took part in the survey showed signs of addiction to the internet.

With spring in the air we can expect to be bombarded with gym selfies and public declarations from those starting new diets, but perhaps instead of shedding pounds you could consider a digital detox. Why?

Because less time online gives you more time with your family and friends, more opportunities to breathe in that crisp spring air, and (if your gran is to be believed) lessens your chances of getting square eyes from all the screen time. So the real question should be: why not? If the internet has crept in and taken over your life, we suggest you seek professional help.

Columinate is celebrating its eighth fabulous year as South Africa’s first full-service digital market research agency on 01 October. We have a lot to thank the internet for, which is why we are sharing our findings on the digital domain. Visit www.columinate.com on 1 October to read more about connected South Africans’ habits and preferences or send us an email: .

2 Sep 2016 11:02

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