Sixty four per cent of B.C. residents polled recently said they own a smartphone

Addicted to your smartphone? Poll of B.C. users shows you’re not alone

Most young adults would give up Facebook, internet access or a date ahead of their smartphone

If you own a smartphone and find it hard to put the device down, you’re not alone.

A new poll by Insights West found 64 per cent of B.C. adults own one, they use it an average of 1.7 hours a day and have an average of 27 apps installed on it.

The survey found 18 per cent of B.C. smartphone owners consider themselves strongly addicted to the device – most of those say it’s manageable – and an additional 43 per cent call it “very important” to their lives.

Sixty two per cent of smartphone owners check it at least hourly and a compulsive six per cent check it more often than every 10 minutes.

Self-described addicts spend an average 2.5 hours a day actively using their phones, the poll found.

Insights West president Steve Mossop said the heavy usage shows how profoundly the devices have transformed daily life and quickly become pervasive.

“Look at kids and how glued they are to their devices and some of us adults as well,” Mossop said.

“It has implications all around, from driving while you’re texting, to social relationships, to impacts on other things you do with your time, like exercise, TV watching and newspaper readership.”

According to the poll, more than three-quarters of smartphone owners said that if they left home for the day without their device they’d return home to retrieve it.

Among young adults age 18-34, the smartphone ownership rate soars to 86 per cent.

Asked what sacrifices they’d make to avoid giving up their phone for three days, 70 per cent of young adults would rather give up Facebook, 25 per cent would give up computer internet access and 25 per cent said they’d rather be stood up for a date. Just 18 per cent of younger users would give up their device ahead of those alternatives, compared to 26 per cent of users aged 35-54 and 57 per cent of those 55 and up.

Checking social media is a common use.

A majority of users say they use their smartphone as their main way to use Twitter, more than a computer or a tablet, while a computer was still the preferred way to use Facebook.

Actually making phone calls remained the top smartphone use, just ahead of texting.

But email, searching for information, taking or sharing photos, checking the weather, researching products or services and using map apps to get directions were also among the most common uses.

Smartphone ownership in B.C. now spans nearly two thirds of the population and has surpassed PVRs (52 per cent own one) and MP3 players (55 per cent), while rapidly closing in on landline telephones (71 per cent.)

And it’s still climbing.

At least a fifth of non-smartphone owners said they intend to get one within the next year.

Half of smartphone users have already bought something via the device and more expect to use it for purchases in the future.

More than a third of those surveyed said it’s important for them to have the latest smartphone.

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