Excessive reliance on smartphones on the rise in S. Korea: survey

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2017-10-17 18:14 Updated : 2017-10-17 18:14
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[Yonhap News Photo]

Nearly 18 percent of smartphone users in South Korea are at risk of addiction as their excessive daily reliance is on the rise, and the problem is serious for teens, according to a state body.

The National Information Society Agency found in a survey of 24,386 people including children that 17.8 percent used smartphones excessively, compared to 16.2 percent a year ago. Related data was released by an opposition lawmaker.

Excessive reliance on smartphones was more serious among teenagers with 30.6 percent, followed by children with 17.9 percent and adults with 16.1 percent. The survey, conducted for three months from September last year, showed that excessive reliance among women was 18.4 percent, compared to men's 17.2 percent.

Government data showed South Korea has 41.76 million smartphone users, or 81 percent of the total population.

A survey published in May last year by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family found that 13.6 percent of South Korea's teen-aged students were addicted to the Internet or smartphones. It listed 1.8 percent as seriously addicted, requiring treatment from specialists and doctors.

Internet or smartphone addiction has become a serious social issue thanks to the widespread use of smartphones. Peak times for smartphone use was during commutes, and the most frequently used function was mobile messengers.