Young people (24 years and younger) spend an average of six hours a day online, primarily using their smartphones, according to research from the University of Survey. Older people (those 24 years and older) spend 4.6 hours online.
Survey's study, which involved 796 participants, introduces a new social media addiction spectrum, categorizing internet users into five groups:
Casual Users (14.86%): This group mainly goes online for specific tasks and logs off without lingering. They show no signs of addiction and are generally older, with an average age of 33.4 years. They are the least interested in exploring new apps.
Initial Users (22.86%): These individuals often find themselves online longer than they initially planned and are somewhat neglectful of household chores but don't consider themselves addicted. They are moderately interested in apps and have an average age of 26.1 years.
Experimenters (21.98%): This group feels uneasy or anxious when not connected to the internet. Once they go online, they feel better. Experimenters are more willing to try out new apps and technology, and their average age is between 22.8 and 24.3 years.
Addicts-in-Denial (17.96%): These users display addictive behaviors like forming new relationships online and neglecting real-world responsibilities to be online. However, they won't admit to feeling uneasy when they're not connected. They are also quite confident in using mobile technology.
Addicts (22.36%): This group openly acknowledges their internet addiction and recognizes its negative impact on their lives. They are the most confident in using new apps and technology. Their time online is significantly greater than that of the Casual Users.
Dr Brigitte Stangl, the lead author of the study at the University of Survey
The researchers found no link between gender and online behavior. Additionally, higher levels of addiction correlated with more confidence in using mobile technology, particularly a greater willingness to try out new apps.
The study also discovered that emotional experiences (the emotions felt while using an app) strongly predicted future behavior for all groups when interacting with augmented reality. In contrast, action experiences (navigating a website or playing a game) were mostly irrelevant for addicts.
Dr Brigitte Stangl, the lead author of the study at the University of Surrey