Young people are spending less time on smartphones for the first time


In a year of a growing backlash against technology, the latest rally against its seemingly all consuming power comes from the people who have always been driving its growth: young people.

New research has found that 16 to 24-year-olds are spending less time on their smartphone for the first time.

Gen Z – that is, the generation born after 1993 and following millennials – were spending 3.9 hours a day glued to their screens last year. But that's inched down to 3.8 this year, according to Kantar TNS's annual study.

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It might be time to call peak smartphone: more than a third of them said they wanted to cut down on screen time as they felt it was taking up too much of their time.

The latest figures add to a growing sense of information overload. Last year, the most comprehensive survey of online habits in the by Ofcom found that 15m Brits – a third of the country – have gone on a "digital detox.

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Even Tim Cook, the man who controls the iPhone, has signalled the smartphone obsession is too much. “I don't like our products being used a lot," he said earlier this month, placing a bet instead on augmented reality to "amplify human connection".

The research company's global connected solutions lead Michael Nicholas said that the devices are "too entwined in our everyday lives" to be ditrched. "However, there’s clearly a conflict between our perceptions on phone usage and acting on it,” he added.

Pensioners, however, are following the opposite trend, with time spent online growing from 36 to 54 minutes.

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