Technology is an integral part of our lives. The rise of the internet and mobile devices has granted us easy access to things that were unimaginable 50 years ago—like navigation software and video conferences.
But one of the most important tech addiction facts that people should know is that spending too much time on the internet can cause serious damage to both your physical and mental health.
People worldwide are flicking through social media, playing computer games, streaming content, gambling on online casinos, and browsing the Web more and more each day without pausing to consider how it may affect them.
Is technology the most addictive thing out there?
Not yet. Tobacco still holds the title for that one if we go by the number of worldwide users.
However, technology dependency is increasing at an alarming rate, and we might see it at the top of the list in a few years.
Eye-Opening Tech Addiction Statistics to Keep In Mind in 2021
- A typical adult spends about eight hours and 45 minutes a day staring at a screen.
- Over 400 million people are addicted to the internet worldwide.
- 12.4% of internet users regularly spend more time online than planned.
- About 31% of online users prefer spending time online than with friends and family.
- 77% of adults in the US access the internet every day.
- Social media addiction negatively affects about 40% of young adults’ sleep in the US.
- Half of US teens are addicted to smartphones.
Tech Addiction Facts in 2021
Technology has improved our lives, that’s indisputable. Every day, it gives us tons of information, facilitates business transactions, and affords us limitless virtual entertainment options.
But technology has also taken control of millions of people. It seems like some people can’t drive, work, study, or even go to sleep without having their phones on hand or experiencing some sort of separation anxiety.
1. About 44% of teenagers struggle with a tech break.
Looking at tech addiction by age, it seems like the younger people are, the more they struggle to stop using computers, TV, cellphones, and other forms of technology.
An international study showed that 41% of people in their twenties, 29% of forty-somethings, and 15% of people older than 60 find it difficult to take a tech break.
2. Young people in the US spend over 40 hours in front of a screen per week.
(Source: Center For Parenting Education)
Tech addiction statistics show that people in the 8-28 age group spend about 44.5 hours a week staring at a screen. That’s more than most full-time jobs demand of their employees!
You might think that it’s because schools nowadays have incorporated technology in classes, and many jobs require the use of tech devices, so it’s difficult to reduce the average screen time.
3. US teens stare at a screen more than seven hours a day for entertainment.
(Source: ABC News)
Whether it’s because they’re playing games, watching videos, or checking social media, the latest tech addiction study revealed that teens have an average screen time of seven hours and 22 minutes a day.
Although if you include time spent reading and listening to music on a mobile device, that number bumps up to nine hours and 49 minutes.
4. About half of the teens in the US feel addicted to smartphones.
Tech addiction statistics say that 78% of teens check their phone at least once an hour, 72% feel the urge to respond to messages immediately, and 45% use the internet continually.
Yet, a study conducted in 2016 showed that only 59% of parents believe their children are addicted to phones, and no more than half of the children agree with the assessment.
Internet Addiction Facts
We’ve already covered a few stats regarding tech device usage, but now let’s dive specifically into internet addiction and how it has affected millions of people.
Keep in mind that on top of constant distraction and behavioral problems, technology addiction can cause damage to the eyes, neck, back, brain, and ear.
5. In 2014, 6% of the world’s population was addicted to the internet.
(Source: Business Insider)
We at Hosting Tribunal suspect the number has gone up in these last seven years, but let’s pretend that percentage is still accurate today so we can calculate approximately how many people are tech addicts in 2021.
If we consider about 7.8 billion people living on Earth, then that would mean 468 million people currently have an internet addiction.
That’s about 200 million more than the number of drug users worldwide.
And it’s even scarier when you factor in that about 40.5% of the global population still doesn’t have access to the internet.
6. About 61% of global online users are addicted to the internet.
Teens and young adults are more vulnerable to tech dependency than older people.
According to the latest internet addiction statistics, 73% of teenage online users are addicted to it whereas, for comparison, just 44% of internet users in the 45-54 age group have the same condition.
The 55- to 64-year-olds claim the lowest addiction rate (39%).
7. 12.3% of internet addicts have felt the urge to limit or quit using the internet.
One of the most worrisome tech addiction facts is that only 8.2% of addicts recognize they have a problem with internet usage, and they try to hide how much they go online from other people in their inner circle.
In fact, 5.9% of internet addicts say their dependency has negatively impacted their personal relationships.
8. Globally, users spend an average of six hours and 42 minutes each day on the internet.
(Source: Digital Information World)
Dependence on technology statistics reveal that people in the US spend an average of six hours and 31 minutes on the internet, which is slightly below the global average.
Fun fact: No European country listed in the study is above the worldwide mark. Unless you consider Turkey, where users are online for seven hours and fifteen minutes each day.
9. People in the Philippines spend the most time online.
(Source: Digital Information World)
Looking at tech addiction by country, the Philippines takes the first place on the list with an average of 10 hours online per day.
Brazil, Thailand, and Colombia are not far behind, each surpassing the nine-hour mark.
For comparison, the internet usage time in Japan is just three hours and 45 minutes on average. It’s the lowest of the 40 countries listed in the study.
10. Women are more addicted to the internet than men.
Breaking down tech addiction by gender, 64% of female users worldwide are internet-dependent, whereas only 55% of their male counterparts suffer the same plight.
Interestingly, though, the roles seem to be inverted in the US, where 27% of women and 29% of men claim to overuse the internet.
11. Around 40% of people have an internet-based compulsive disorder.
(Source: Interesting Engineering)
Or so Dr. Adam Alter estimates.
Social media, video games, porn, gambling, shopping, and other potential addictions are easy to develop and access online.
Why is tech so addictive?
Technology is a gateway to escape from social anxiety, loneliness, depression, and conversation.
But there’s also the fact that some apps, for example, are designed to be addictive.
Unfortunately, because technology is so ingrained in our everyday lives, it’s difficult to notice when someone is overusing it.
Social Media Addiction Statistics
Dr. Alter also says the average millennial looks at their phone around 150 times a day.
How many of those times do you think they check a social media platform?
12. 39% of online users in the US are addicted to social media.
The condition seems to be more persistent among women than men, though—45% of female online users claimed some degree of social media dependency compared to just 33% of males.
13. Social media addiction is predominant among millennials in the US.
According to social media obsession statistics, 52% of people in the 23-38 age group are at least somewhat dependent on social media.
The second place goes to the 18- to 22-year-olds (45%) and the third to Gen X (35%).
14. About 71% of teens in the US have at least two social media accounts.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
Back in 2015, stats showed that about 71% of US teens were on Facebook, 52% on Instagram, 41% on Snapchat, and 33% on Twitter.
Fun fact: Teens represent just 4.1% of Instagram’s user base in the United States. The largest percentage (31.4%) belongs to the 25-34 age group.
15. 74% of US Facebook users visit the platform daily.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
Facebook addiction statistics show that 51% of Facebook users visit the platform multiple times a day, whereas 26% check it a few times a week.
Twitter users in the US behave oppositely, though—26% check their feed several times a day, whereas 53% visit the platform rarely throughout the week.
16. TikTok users open the app 43.4 times a day on average.
(Source: App Ape Lab)
TikTok has taken the world by storm. About 40% of users open the app between 21 and 50 times per day. A little less than 30% of tiktokers do it even more often than that.
The latest social media addiction stats indicate that TikTok users spend about 52 minutes per day on the platform.
17. About 40% of young adults in the Netherlands lose sleep because of social media.
Although the majority of 18- to 24-year-olds claim social media has no impact on their sleep or academic performance, more than 35% recognize that it has adverse effects on both accounts.
Comparatively, just 4.8% of the study’s respondents perceive social media hurts their relationship with their loved ones. In this instance, the majority (67.4%) claim it has a positive effect.
Gaming Addiction Stats
Video games aren’t all bad.
You can relax, develop some skills, keep yourself entertained, and make some friends while you’re playing. You can even set up your own game server using one of the best hosts out there and get others to play by your rules.
The gaming industry’s value is currently around $200 billion, but experts believe it will surpass $300 billion in just five more years.
Let’s take a quick look at some tech addiction facts that highlight how addictive video games are.
18. Gaming is a common addiction for children all over the world.
(Source: Healthy Gamer)
Stats say around 14% of Hong Kong students, 10% of Singaporean children, and 600,000 South Korean kids have a gaming disorder.
But don’t be deceived—it affects adults, too. In fact, the average age for video game enthusiasts is 33 years old.
Researchers estimate that a little less than 1% of the general population could fall under the gaming addict category.
19. Gamers play more than eight hours per week on average.
Recent video game addiction statistics say that 30% of gamers play nonstop for five hours at a time, and 25% play for more than 12 hours each week.
Gaming is on an upwards trend, particularly since the pandemic started. For instance, there are now more than 3500 Minecraft servers in the US alone.
(If you want to up the count and take your world online, be sure to check our review of the best Minecraft hosting providers.)
20. Boys are more likely to develop a video game addiction than girls.
(Source: Newport Academy)
The reasons for this vary. It could be because of gender differences regarding thinking patterns, mental health literacy, sensitivity to rewards and losses, or a combination of all three.
The latest gaming addiction statistics show that out of the 3,000 students that participated in an Addictive Behaviors study, 19% of males and 7.8% of females fit the profile for someone with a gaming disorder.
Tips to Stop Technology Addiction
After bombarding you with worrisome statistics, we wanted to share a few tips to break (or prevent) technology addiction.
- Digital detox – Limit your screen time. You can start small and work your way down until you meet your goal.
- Engage in outdoor activities – Spending time outside might help with temptation, so consider swimming, cycling, trekking, or any tech-free activity you enjoy.
- Create a technology-free zone in your house – Read books, converse with your friends and family, and play indoor games while you’re in the zone.
- Turn airplane mode on before sleeping – Avoid having notifications wake you up in the middle of the night and just focus on getting some rest.
- Use phone apps to stop using your phone – Ironic, considering we’re suggesting an electronic detox, but whatever works, right?
- Reward yourself for being away from technology – You can choose your own incentive, just keep your reward technology-free.
Although it’s not as popular as gambling or alcoholism, tech addiction is real, and it has already impacted millions of people around the world.
The tech addiction facts we mentioned here are our way of raising awareness and helping people form healthy tech habits—like taking a break from your screen now that you’re done reading this article.
- Center for Parenting Education
- ABC News
- Business Insider
- Digital Information World
- Digital Information World
- Interesting Engineering
- Pew Research Center
- Pew Research Center
- App Ape Lab
- Healthy Gamer
- Newport Academy