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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

15 million people in the UK have done a "digital detox"

But have you? Have your say in our poll.

Image: Shutterstock/Julia Sudnitskaya

A NEW REPORT INTO online behaviour shows that 15 million people in the UK have undertaken a “digital detox” to curb their online activity.

The findings are in the latest Ofcom Communications Market Report 2016, which said that one in three adult internet users has sought time offline, with one in 10 doing it in the last week alone.

It said that of these people:

  • 25% spent up to a day internet-free
  • 20% took up to a week off
  • 5% went web-free for up to a whole month.

As a result, a third of people said they felt more productive, 27% found it liberating, and a quarter enjoyed life more.

However, 16% experienced the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), while 15% felt lost and 14% felt cut-off.

The reasons behind the digital detoxes were numerous:

With nine in 10 adults reporting going online every day, being ‘connected’ is seen as a core part of many people’s daily lives, with many respondents claiming to feel lost without it and admitting to being ‘hooked’ on their smartphones, tablets or other connected devices. The internet is highly valued for facilitating communications and preventing boredom, but time spent online does have its drawbacks. Four in 10 internet users say they spend too much time online, and report negative effects on their work or personal lives, such as being late for work or missing out on sleep.

Here in Ireland, a Digital Detox weekend has even been set up to help people end their attachment to their devices.

Keith Corcoran, a meditation instructor from the course, told us in January:

Our minds are going always from morning until night, thinking about the past and the present and the future. I’ve noticed myself over the years that your mind is not really switching off.

So we want to know – what about you: Have you ever done a digital detox?

Poll Results:

No, but I'd like to (2506)
Yes (1085)
No, and I don't want to (896)

Read: ‘A tour to the past of 15 years ago’: Turning off technology for a weekend>

Opinion: How to find razor-sharp focus in the age of distraction>

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