SEOUL, Korea, Mar 26 (Korea Bizwire) – According to the results of the “Survey of Internet Addiction 2013” conducted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the National Information Society Agency, one in every four Korean teenagers has a high risk of smartphone addiction.
A total of 11.8 percent of the respondents belonged to the high-risk group for smartphone addiction, which has increased by 0.7 percentage point year on year.
While adults (age 20 to 54) have become more sober of smartphones by 0.2 percentage point, with 8.9 percent of them belonging to the high-risk group, 24.5 percent of teenagers (ages 10 to 19) are exposed to high risks for smartphone addiction, which has been increased by 7.1 percentage points over the previous year.
The high risk for smartphone addiction is the condition which develops tolerance due to the abuse of smartphones, cause symptoms of withdrawal and interfere with everyday life. About a half the teenagers said that they are “nervous without smartphones (53.2%),” “accustomed to spending much time using smartphones (48.0%),” and “unable to quit using smartphones even if they think they should (47.2%).”
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The middle school students have turned out to be the most vulnerable to smartphone addiction with 29.3 percent of them at high risks. It has also been reported that teens from double-income households have higher risks than the ones from single-income household.
Generally, the wealthier the families are, the chances for the children suffering from smartphone addiction tend to increase.
An average smartphone user uses the smartphone for 4.1 hour each day, but it is for 5.4 hours for a person at a high risk of smartphone addiction. The main purposes of use were texting (40.6%), searching for the news (17.6%) and online games (8.3%).
Meanwhile, the national Internet addiction rate has decreased in majority of age groups with the exception of the teenager group, which has been increased by 1.0 percentage point over the previous year.
The government and ministries are determined to fight the war on Internet and smartphone addictions. Smartphone addiction awareness training has become mandatory in schools, and more schools will be chosen as “Smart Media Clean Schools” in promotion of voluntary addiction prevention.
Written by Robin Koo (firstname.lastname@example.org)