A new report has revealed the extreme dependency that young Brits have for their smart phones, with one in five (17 per cent) admitting they couldn’t bear to be without their phone for less than ONE HOUR if it was lost or broken.
The study of 16-25-year-olds, by Endsleigh Insurance Services found that tech-dependent youths are more addicted to their smartphones than ever before, with experts dubbing the national epidemic as ‘Nomophobia’ – or irrational fear of being without a mobile phone.
In fact, a fifth of young people surveyed admitted they would want to replace their smartphone IMMEDIATELY in the event of an accident – and a staggering 62 per cent would only last comfortably for 24 hours without a replacement handset.
And young people are spending longer on their phones than ever before, with the average teenager now spending up to seven hours per day glued to their smartphone screen.
Not being able to keep in touch with friends and family (56 per cent) was revealed as the top cause of Nomophobia, followed by missing out on social media (38 per cent) and not being able to listen to music (28 per cent).
Not taking photos (26 per cent) or having access to bank and financial accounts (18 per cent) also featured prominently in the list of concerns.
One fifth of those surveyed feared the replacement cost of a smartphone, with the average handset now valued at an eye-watering £397. Privacy issues were a worry for 17 per cent of respondents and 15 per cent would be worried about losing photos and videos.
And they have a right to be nervous, as 65 per cent of young people claimed to have dropped or damaged their smart phone in the last year.
But despite Nomophobia being a growing concern for young adults, smartphones were only voted as their third most prized possession. Photographs or photo albums were revealed as the most valued, followed by jewellery, necklaces or rings. Teddy bears, laptops and cars also featured in the top ten list.
Julia Alpan, head of marketing at Endsleigh, said: “Smart phones have become a huge part of our every day lives, but it’s surprising to see the extent to which young people now rely on, and can’t bear to be without them.
“Breaking or damaging a phone can be an upsetting (and expensive) experience for anyone – but aside from the cost of repair or replacement, it’s the sentimental value of a phone’s contents that can cause the most distress, particularly if you lose photos, videos or other personal data.
“We understand Nomophobia is a growing issue, so would urge young people to check they have the right level of insurance cover in place, so they can be safe in the knowledge that their valuables are fully protected in the event of an accident.”
With over 50 years’ experience, Endsleigh uses its expertise to provide home, motor, travel and gadget insurance, throughout student life and beyond.