Whether it’s keeping up with the news, social media or our favourite online stores, it’s easy to spend hours glued to our screens. Now a new survey for Grazia magazine has revealed how much our phones are impacting on our lives.

When it comes to mental health and wellbeing, a third of women said that social media affects her body image, 26% say it has a negative effect on anxiety and one in four say it has a negative impact on their self-esteem and mental health.

Meanwhile, our relationships are suffering too, half of women surveyed were worried about how technology has repercussions on family life and 68% agreed with the statement: ‘phones now ruin what would once have been quality time with friends/family’.

Social lives are being affected too: 83% are annoyed when phones are used during a meal out and 64% admitting to being infuriated when phones are used during a night out.

One in three believe that using a smartphone before bed has negatively affected her sex life, which is even more shocking when you consider that 64% confess to using their phone before going to sleep either every or most nights.

It’s no wonder that 53% said they were nostalgic for a time before mobile phones and 55% think they would be happier if they took a break from technology.

LONDONERS ARE THE MOST PHONE-OBSESSED

The survey found Londoners to be the most obsessed with their phones. Half of all women living in the capital feel that social media has had a positive impact on their general satisfaction with life; more positive than the rest of the UK. They are also most likely to take their phone to the loo (68%)!

Three quarters (74%) of Londoners look at a device before going to sleep either every night or most nights vs 64% for the UK overall.

Respondents in London were more likely to report a negative impact on their relationships – 63% said it is having a negative impact on their sex life (vs 34% overall) and 53% said they spend more time on their phones as they do talking (vs 39% for the UK).

Women living in London recognise that they use their phones a lot and are the most likely to say they are considering detoxing but half of them said they fear that they will miss out if they do.

Commenting on the results, editor Natasha Pearlman said: “Advances in technology have given us huge benefits and transformed our lives and careers. However, this survey reveals we’ve reached a tipping point. Where technology once liberated us, now we feel we’re slaves or negatively addicted to it. I was astounded at quite how much our mobile use affects our mental health, and increases anxiety – and the huge number of women who say phones ruin quality time with friends and family. It’s why we have scoured the globe to bring our readers different ways to disconnect in our special Unplugged Issue.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

Grazia magazine is published weekly by Bauer Media in the UK.

The Grazia Unplugged issue, on sale now, is encouraging readers to lay electronic devices aside and rediscover the joy of scroll-free suppers, call-free conversations and textless time-outs.

1,000 women responded to the Grazia Unplugged survey in May 2017.

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