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Disconnection anxiety hitting home for Kiwis

25 Feb 2016

Feeling pangs of anxiety when not connected to the internet? You’re not alone, with a new survey showing 39% of Kiwis feel stressed when they can’t get online.

The Canstar Blue survey shows on average Kiwis are spending 3.2 hours a day connected to the internet, with boredom a key driver in the urge to scroll.

Unsurprisingly, Aucklanders were most likely to get disconnection anxiety at 47%, while those in Otago were the least worried when they were away from Wi-Fi (23%).

Women were more anxious than men, with 41% of women suffering anxiety when away from the internet compared with 38% of men.

Jose George, Canstar New Zealand general manager, says this isn’t surprising as our online and offline worlds are continuously merging with new technology consistently released to upgrade the way we do our jobs and conduct our personal lives.

However, he points out that the survey also revealed that 10% of New Zealanders say the amount of time they spend online is negatively impacting their relationships.

“Aucklanders are spending the most hours in front of a screen out of all of the regions at 3.7 hours per day, that adds up to around 26 hours – more than half of a working week,” George says.

Cantabrians, in comparison, are the most disconnected of the regions averaging just 2.7 hours per day.

Somewhat unsurprisingly it’s the younger generations who are feeling pangs of shame about the hours they spend plugged in to their devices with 41% of 18-29 year olds saying they feel remorse but won’t change their habits, says George.

“Forty per cent of those aged under 29 say that they spend more time socialising online than they do in person, a high figure compared to the national average of 21%.”

Forty-one per cent of those surveyed cited boredom as the reason for spending so much time online, with 18-21 year olds most likely to jump on their devices when the day is feeling a bit dull (71%) compared to 28% of 50-59 year olds who don’t want to waste too much time online.

The survey also reveals 22% of Kiwis are tuning into paid video streaming services, with Netflix most popular at 66%. Kiwi-owned Lightbox scored 32% of Kiwis using streaming services, with Sky TV’s Neon a distant third at 6%.

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